FTC Disclosure:

I am not paid or compensated in any way to write product reviews posted to this blog. There are affiliate links posted throughout this blog. So, when you click through on links and buy something, I may receive a commission. I pay for the products with my own funds. Product reviews always reflect my own experience with and honest opinion of the product as a consumer.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Review of So Delicious Coconut Milk Unsweetened

Coconut milk is the white liquid, extracted from the processed meat of coconuts.

By itself, So Delicious “Unsweetened” coconut milk has a bland taste.  The sweetened version of So Delicious coconut milk tastes nasty to me.  I prefer the unsweetened variety over the sweetened.  Coconut milk is not as rich tasting as cow or goat milk.  I decided to use this product, because I was looking for some healthier alternatives to cow’s milk and soy milk.

So Delicious coconut milk is really thin in its consistency, which lends rather well to soup preparation.  It is much thinner than some of the canned coconut milk preparations.

There are many different varieties of So Delicious dairy-free coconut milk:
  • Chocolate
  • Original 
  • Unsweetened
  • Vanilla
  • Unsweetened Vanilla
  • Unsweetened Original

So Delicious has many products available beside coconut milk.  This company has broadened their product offering to include almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk frozen desserts, dairy-free cultured products, coconut milk coffee creamers and other products.  I have yet to try any of these other products, but thought they were worth mentioning.

Benefits of using So Delicious Coconut Milk:

  • Made with organic ingredients, including coconuts and certified UDSA Organic product. 
  • Is vegan, meaning that it does not contain any animal products.  The product is not tested on animals. 
  • So Delicious coconut milk does not contain any GMO coconuts.
  • Gluten-free and certified Kosher

Now for the cons. Any time that you buy a product off the shelf, it is processed.   No matter how “natural” the manufacturer says the product is, it is still processed.  As stated earlier, So Delicious coconut milk is very thin compared to canned coconut milk.  It doesn’t separate as much as canned coconut milk.  So, the product is really dilute.

It is also fortified with vitamins- another clue.  Fortifying a product with man-made vitamins, doesn’t necessarily make the product healthier for you.  It increases the price of the food, if anything.  I would much rather get the vitamins and minerals directly from the food itself. Some So Delicious products have added sugar, too.

In some ways, So Delicious coconut milk in the carton is a little better than the traditional canned coconut milk.  Canned acidic foods have a reputation for BPA (Bisphenol-A) contamination.  There are a few brands of canned organic coconut milk out on the market, which don’t contain BPA.  They aren’t widely available and it is something to be aware of.

So Delicious is also expensive when you compare it to other brands of coconut milk.  The $2-$3 cost really adds up if consuming the product on a daily basis.  Considering that it is diluted with water, you’re not getting as much bang for your buck as a consumer.

I still see it as an option for people who don’t want to go through the trouble of selecting organic coconuts and preparing the coconut milk themselves. I know that the average American will not go through the trouble to do this, since we lead fast paced lives and some of us are lax and nonchalant when it comes to attending to proper health and nutrition.

My feelings about So Delicious Coconut Milk Unsweetened are mixed:  On the one hand, I don’t think that this is a bad product. It is better than gulping down, hormone and antibiotic laden cow’s milk.   On the other, I don’t think that it is the best coconut milk product on the market.

In life, there are pros and cons to just about everything. So Delicious coconut milk unsweetened is a product that I use due to lactose intolerance, uterine fibroids and because convenience factor of using packaged coconut milk.  I recommend it to people over choosing soy milk or cow’s milk.

© Copyright 2014 Susan Broadbelt

Monday, May 12, 2014

Review of Gillette Daisy Disposable Razors

Gillette Daisy Razors Classic package

Gillette Daisy Razor head 

Gillette Daisy Razor side view

Gillette Daisy Razor top view

The Gillette Daisy (Classic) disposable razors that I purchased come in a pack of 12 Daisy classic razors + 1 Simply Venus razor.They retail for about $10-11 for the entire pack.  I never pay full price, because I always look for deals and buy them on sale and use BOGO coupons.  

The handle of the Gillette Daisy razor is small, very rigid and made of a very hard, pink plastic like material.  It has these ridges, which do slightly improve the grip over razors which don't have ridges.  The handle is too small and it doesn't feel very ergonomic in my hands. 

The razor head is small with two razors blades and one moisture bar.   The head does not pivot, which makes it a little bit more difficult to shave in the nooks and crannies (e.g. the knee).  With that said, the size of the razor head, does make it good for shaving the groin area. 

The razors are sharp.  However, I don't get as close a shave with Gillette Daisy razors, because there are only two razor blades and the head is so small.  I have really coarse hair, and the razor head clogs up, so quickly before I need to rinse the razor head.  Several passes over the same area are required in order to get a good, close, shave.  

I rarely get cuts or nicks using these razors.  The moisture bar doesn't provide much moisture.  It doesn't give me much assurance that I won't get cut or nicked while shaving.  Simply wetting your legs with warm water, won't protect you. I suggest that anyone using these razors, also apply plenty or shaving gel or cream to prevent razor rash and cuts.

Gillette Daisy razors are so economical, that I don't feel like I am wasting money when I toss one after a few uses.  I only get about 3 good uses out of them before the razor becomes dull.  I certainly got my money's worth with these razors, but I am not overly impressed with the value that I got from them. I normally use disposable razors that cost more and are better quality, like Bic Soleil Bella and Gillette Venus disposable razors.   I will stick to the razors that give me the better results. 

© Copyright 2014  Susan Broadbelt

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Fast Food Smoothies Aren't Real

I purchased a Ninja Professional Blender a few years ago and started to prepare my own smoothies.  It took me making my own smoothies to realize just how bland and watered down McDonald's smoothies were.  I didn't know what my taste buds were missing.  

Just do a cost analysis of what you are paying for when you buy a McDonald's smoothie, compared to buying the ingredients and making your own smoothies.  You can see that you get more for your money by preparing your own smoothies.  The ingredients in homemade smoothies are more nutritious, fresh and wholesome. 

It costs $2.50 or better to purchase a small McCafe Strawberry Banana smoothie from McDonald's.  If you go to a farmer's market or grocery store, and purchase the ingredients needed to prepare strawberry banana smoothies for 6-8 people, it will costs you under $10.  Compare that to paying $15-$20 to purchase McDonald's smoothies for 6 - 8 people.  

What's more, fast food smoothies aren't really natural, in spite of labels such as, "Real Fruit" or "made with natural ingredients".  They are mainly composed of fillers, artificial coloring, and artificial flavorings (i.e. high fructose corn syrup).  If you do some snooping around and examine the labels, it is evident that most fast food smoothies only contain a few natural ingredients and/or a few ingredients derived from natural produce.  Therefore, you aren't getting many valuable nutrients by consuming fast food smoothies.  

I savor every ounce of my homemade smoothies and they taste so rich and delicious.  I feel proud that I am do something beneficial for my body when I drink a homemade smoothie.  They are detoxing and refreshing.  There is a heck of a lot more love in REAL food. 

If you are too lazy to prepare homemade smoothies, then all hope is not lost for you.  There are healthier alternatives to fast food smoothies, such as Naked smoothies, Bolthouse Farms products, and Sambazon drinks.  

© Copyright 2014 Susan Broadbelt

Why are People so Stupid? Part Two: Food Stamp Capers

In part 1, I talked about a couple of strange situations that I experienced while working for a grocery store chain.  Part 2 is about another weird situation that happened while I worked there.   It seemed that weird things always happened in that place.  I am going to keep it real and say that the grocery store is located in an area that attracts many ghettofied people. 

Well, there was this one customer that came through my checkout line one day. Not that it matters much, but the customer was a middle-aged, Black woman.  She wheeled in whole cart full of groceries and there was a large bag of dry dog food placed on the bottom of the shopping cart.  I went about scanning the groceries.  At the end of the order, I told her the total.   

The cash registers were like little computer systems, which could separate food items from non-food items, based on the UPC barcode on the product label.   So the cash register renders a food stamp balance and a cash balance. The customer presented me with some food stamps.  In the 1990s food stamps came in paper booklets, that you rip out.  The EBT card is a novelty.  

The customer looked really surprised when I told her that she'd need to pay in cash for the dog food.  I gently reminded her that food stamps are used to pay for food meant for human consumption.  She rolled her eyes at me and said, "Well he's [her dog] a human animal!"   And she was dead serious.  

I couldn't surpress my laughter.  Even the customer behind her in the line laughed.  So, I guess that I was suppossed to accept the food stamps as payment, because she felt that her beloved pet was human-like.  That makes a lot of sense. 

This customer wouldn't accept no for an answer.  She tried to reason with me that $10 is $10, whether it is cash or food stamps. She attempted to strong arm me into accepting the food stamps as payment for the dog food.  

I should have called over the manager to deal with her, but I took a different approach.  I demonstrated to her that the computer would not accept the food stamps as payment.  Hypothetically, if I were to accept the food stamps from her and enter the amount received as cash, the cash drawer balance would be off.  The cash drawer would have been over by $10 in food stamps and short $10 in cash. 

Besides that, it is against the law (I am sure that she already knew that fact).   She conceded once she realized that all of the wheeling and dealing was for naught. She handed over the cash for the dog food, knowing that I wouldn't cut her any slack.  

People like her, are of the mentality that the government and everyone else owe them something.  Really, the customer should be grateful that the taxpayers were footing the bill for her to receive food stamps.   Since she is getting assistance from the government to purchase food, it is logical to assume that she was in a poor financial state.  It makes you wonder, why was she taking on the responsibility to feed an animal, if she couldn't afford to feed herself?

People with that type of mindset are so used to going into the little neighborhood corner stores and buying non-food items with food stamps.  They are so acustomed to gaming the system, that they forget that those activities constitute fraud.  To their mind, everyone is suppossed to accomodate them, and play along with their game in order for them to get what they want.  They thumb their nose at the hard-working, honest employees in the process. 

Those are some of the types of people that I dealt with for nearly six years.  I was very relieved and proud after completing an educational program and obtaining a better job, at another company.  Working at the grocery store made me have more respect and empathy for low-paid service workers. 

© Copyright 2014  Susan Broadbelt

Friday, May 9, 2014

Shrink Fibroids Naturally

What are fibroids? What causes fibroids to grow?

They are non-cancerous tumors which grow inside the abdominal cavity, on or inside the female reproductive organs.  They are also called "leiomyoma" or "myomas".  It is believed that estrogen dominance, caused by phytoestrogens and xenoestrogens stimulate the growth of fibroids.  They usually shrink during menopause because the levels of estrogen decrease.

Fibroids can cause some very unpleasant symptoms like heavy menstruation, a bulging abdomen, pain in the abdomen and intense menstrual cramping, pain during sex, and pressure on the bladder.

My personal experience with uterine fibroids

In 2010, I suffered a miscarriage.  It was one of the most devastating times of my life. There is no conclusive cause for the miscarriage but I believe that uterine fibroids were a factor.  I was diagnosed with fibroids in 2000 by my gynecologist.  At that time, I had know idea that I had fibroids and no symptoms.  At the time that I was diagnosed with fibroids, they were small.  Now, my fibroids are so large, that I can feel them protruding in my uterus.

My gynecologist told me that fibroids may be caused by diet.  He also added that since I am an African-American, that I was at increased risk for developing fibroids. He told me that there is no cure for uterine fibroids, but there were medical treatment options available.  Since the fibroids weren't causing me any pain or discomfort, he suggested that I "do nothing".   Had I known what I know today, I would have been actively researching ways to naturally get rid of the fibroids.

There are several medical treatments available for fibroid treatment such as myomectomy and uterine artery emobilization.  I decided that I do not want to have any surgery to remove the fibroid tumors. Nor, do I want any invasive treatments for the fibroids, as these procedures carry significant risks, complications, and side effects. 

One of my relatives had an operation to remove her uterine fibriods.  Well, she nearly bled to death after the procedure, and was rushed back into surgery for a hysterectomy.  Fortunately, she already had children. For these reasons, I seek natural methods to shrink fibroids.

Natural Treatments for Fibroids

There are no guarantees that these methods will eliminate fibroids, but I will list some of the most common non-invasive and natural ways to shrink your fibroids:

  • Detox the blood and organ systems (example, liver cleanses and gall bladder flush).
  • Take cleansing herbs, such as Red Clover and Motherwort. 
  • Drink plenty of purified water to flush out the system.
  • Refrain from drinking coffee and other caffeine containing products. 
  • Refrain from eating non-organic red-meat, pork, poultry, and diary products.  If possible, don't ingest these products at all.  These products contain growth hormones which are believed to increase estrogen dominance in the blood stream.
  • Incorporate plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet, especially green leafy vegetables. 
  • Use warm Castor oil packs on the abdomen. 
  • Take organic unsulphured Black Strap molasses.
  • Take apple cider vinegar.  Some women say that it helps to relieve the symptoms of fibroids and reduces heavy menstrual bleeding. 
I wish you success with shrinking fibroids naturally!

Disclaimer:  This post is for information purposes only.  Please do your own research and seek advice from a licensed medical doctor or a naturopathic doctor.

© Copyright 2014  Susan Broadbelt

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Why are people so stupid? Part one: The Robbery

The longer that I live, the more I encounter some really stupid people and find myself in some unpredictable and bizarre situations. 

In the early 1990s, I worked my way through high school and the first few years of college as a cashier at a grocery store chain.  The first week on the job was like baptism by fire.  From the first day, some really strange things happened, which continued to happen throughout my nearly six years of working for the company.  Until this day, I don’t know why I didn’t quit after that first week of working there.  I could actually write a book about my many weird experiences and the antics of employees and customers.

Anywho… The first strange thing that happened there was that I went into the women’s restroom on a break to wash my hands.  To my surprise, there was a long, fat turd on display there in the bathroom sink.  I guess, the culprit had a sick penchant for the more repulsive aspects of life.

I dashed out of the restroom to notify the manager.  He glared at me in disbelief saying “In the women’s restroom?” He continued to stare at me with those beady eyes, as if he were silently calculating the probability that I was the assailant in that detestable crime.  Before he could ask, I told him that I didn’t do it.  He ordered one of the bag boys to clean up the mess.  The bag boy looked at me and the manager in utter disgust.

The Robbery

Another strange twist of events occurred just a few days later.  It was about 5 minutes before closing time and I signed off my cash register to put unwanted merchandise back on the store shelves. As I was walking along the end of one aisle, I saw a couple of masked men run into the store.  I thought that it was a joke until one of the men pointed a gun at a clerk.  I was like, “Oh shiznit.  We’re being robbed!”.

I ducked down behind a huge display of stacked up canned goods.  A few minutes later the bookkeeper, Anna (not her real name) began to call out to me and other employees over the intercom system. She announced, without any explanation, that we should come to the front of the store.  Some of the employees walked up there, not knowing what was happening.  Not me.  I had a good view of what was going on from my vantage point.  Some of the other employees who had gotten wind of what happened even hid in the walk in freezer.

The crazy part is that Anna continued to call me to come to the front of the store. I became very angry and agitated at her, because she was trying to blow my cover.  I am surprised that the robbers didn’t murk her ass for sounding like a broken record.  I arrived at two conclusions as to why she kept calling my name:  A) She didn’t like me.  B) She wanted to take as many people as possible with her, if she were to die.

I saw them pointing the gun to her head and at the assistant store manager.  He committed the cardinal sin:  He opened the safe.   The poor guy and the manager who trained him both lost their jobs because of this.  The company policy stated that they weren’t to open the safe.  Stupid rule if you asked me, but that’s on another topic.

The whole thing went down in less than 10 minutes.  The crooks got away with over $25,000 dollars in cash, some goodies, and a couple of desktop calculators (I could see how those come in handy with all that cold hard cash).  I don’t think those guys were ever apprehended. Rumor had it, that the robberies were an inside job, since there were a string of similar robberies, with the same MO in the area.

Luckily, no one was hurt. The police arrived after the robbery, missing them by a few minutes. Anna and the manager announced over the intercom system that it was okay for the employees to come out of hiding and that the robbery was over.

Anna briskly walked up to me and had the nerve to ask in a slightly annoyed tone, “Susan, why didn’t you come to the front of the store?”  I was taken aback by the sheer idiocy of such a question.  My answer came in the form of a question posed to her:  “Anna, if the shoe were on the other foot and you were in my situation, would you have went to the front of the store?”  She didn’t know how to respond.  All she could do is stand there looking like the idiot that she is was.

© Copyright 2014 Susan Broadbelt

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Review of Wild Growth Hair Oil

Wild Growth Hair Oil 
 natural hair care product, good for normal healthy hair and dry, brittle hair
My hair is in its natural, kinky, coiled-op state. I did the "big chop" back in December of 1999.  One the products that helped me to make a smoother transition towards the journey was Wild Growth Hair Oil®.  It has been around since the 1980s.  It is manufactured by Wild Growth Co.  I've been using Wild Growth Hair Oil® on and off, since 1999. 

In fact, I discovered it while perusing through a magazine geared towards Black readership (I think it was Ebony or Essence).  I was curiously skimming through the ads near the end of the magazine, when I noticed the ad for Wild Growth Hair Oil®.  I sort of dismissed it the first few times that I saw it as a joke.  It seemed that the advertisers were making unbelievable claims about their product, namely that it would grow your hair.  

But, as time went on I revisited the ad and decided to take a chance with the product.  I was very weary of messy hair care products like Luster's Pink Oil Moisturizer, which caused me to suffer from acne breakouts and greasy forehead syndrome. Wild Growth Hair OIl® was like a welcome respite.

I sauntered on down to a local beauty supply store and purchased a bottle.  The going rate for this stuff is around $8 per 4 oz bottle.  It is also available at Sally Beauty Supply stores. 

It is a heavy, thick oil with a liquid consistency.  It contains vitamins, other natural ingredients, and no mineral oil (Yay).  It is really oily, so you don't need much.  The manufacturer suggests only a few drops, 1-3 times per week.  A little goes a long way with Wild Growth Hair Oil®.  It does such a great job of softening my naps and locking the moisture into my hair.  

I follow this up with a few spritzes of Soft Sheen Carson's Sta-Fo-Fro.  I massage that combo into my hair and scalp real good, pick it out and I am good to go.  My hair doesn't tangle or mat up, with regular use. When I stay on top of my regimen, split ends and breakage are minimal. 

The manufacturer says that it is suitable for many hair types including, natural and chemically processed hair, African-American hair, Hispanic-Latino, Asian, Indian, Native-American, etc.  

Although, I don't use it much for blow-drying, I find that it works just fine for this purpose.  According to Wild Growth Co., it is also good for protecting and strengthening the hair during pressing, wig and weave use, braiding, and flat ironing. 

The only thing that I don't care for, is the scent, which is difficult to describe.  I don't know of anything else that smells like Wild Growth Hair Oil®.  It is not a sweet, fragrant smell and it doesn't smell edible.  It is not a foul, pungent odor, but it is not exactly pleasant, either.  It is one of those weird scents that you acclimate yourself to and learn to tolerate with time.  Once in a while, I experience a temporary tingling sensation after massaging Wild Growth Hair Oil® into my scalp. 

In my opinion, the product does not work miracles. People shouldn't have the expectation that this product will grow their hair from bald to 6 inches of growth in 2 months.  I don't have empirical evidence to support this, but it does appear to promote moderate hair growth.  

When I use it consistently for months, I get great results.  My hair always grows thicker and healthier.  If it weren't for the fact that I prefer to keep my hair short, I know that my hair would be growing down my back by now.  It is just easier for me to maintain by keeping it trimmed short to about 4 inches (I am lazy like that, you know). 

Overall, I am very pleased with the value that I receive from Wild Growth Hair Oil®.  There is nothing else like it, that I know of.  

Wild Growth Hair Oil® is a registered trademark of Wild Growth Co.

For questions or comments about this product visit:


© Copyright 2014  Susan Broadbelt

Monday, May 5, 2014

I Love Florida

Palm trees at Mizner Park, Boca Raton, Florida

I love Florida.  I was born here and I am a Florida native.  I love the beaches , with the salty waves of the Atlantic, the Palm trees and foliage, the flamingos, the Florida sun, the Keys, the cultural diversity, and Florida's interesting history.  Florida has acres of land in the Everglades, the habitat of some of our wildlife. Florida is home to the Seminole Tribe. 

In spite of the crazy things that people hear on the news about Florida, it is my home.  My cultural and ethnic heritage is Black American.  One half of my family hails from the South and the other half hails from all over the Caribbean.  So, we are tropical people.  I can't see myself living in a place where the weather is very cold. 

And speaking of "the South".  I visited some of my people in Georgia several years, ago.  The Georgia lifestyle is a stark contrast to the pace of Florida, where I live. There are some aspects of Georgia which are really nice.   

The homes and shopping centers are spread further apart in Georgia, than in other urban areas in Florida. The crime rates are comparably lower in Georgia and so is the cost of living.  I think that it is a great state for retirement and relaxation.  The scenery, the red clay, the hills are so beautiful and bring a sense of serenity. 

Speaking of hills, I was headed back to Florida, from Georgia in the wee hours of the morning, years ago.  I drove up  a hill and going down the other side of the hill, I noticed a glowing pair of eyes off to the side of the road.   I figure that it was a deer waiting to cross the street.  I hadn't seen anything like that before, so it scared the bejesus out of me. But, I digress. 

Back to the subject.  When it comes to shopping venues, tourism destinations, the night life and social scene, Georgia lags behind Florida.   No offense to all the "ATLiens", but from what I could see, Atlanta has nothing on Miami or even Fort Lauderdale for that matter.  I haven't visited Georgia in a long time, so maybe things have changed.  There is a lot of land there which is undeveloped. 

Florida has so much to enjoy, like our theme parks, museums, tourist attractions, cuisine, and parks & recreation centers.  Gaming is turning into a booming industry here, as well.  I am aware that there are other places with an older,richer history, breath taking scenery, superb architecture, and better tourism than Florida (e.g. Italy, China, Japan).  I just have to give mad props to my home state. 

The only things that I don't like about Florida are the inclement weather and some of our critters.  We flood out a lot, since much of Florida turf is below sea level.  The hurricanes destroy property and leave us without electricity for days or weeks.   And, the spiders, lizards, mosquitoes and cockroaches leave much to be desired.  It seems that there are more lizards in Florida than there are people.  That's part of tropical living.  It comes with the territory.  

© Copyright 2014 Susan Broadbelt


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