During This Season Of Consumerism, Let's Not Forget To Be Grateful & Give Back

During This Season Of Consumerism, Let's Not Forget To Be Grateful & Give Back

We are bombarded with ads but how about we give a little love to others in return.

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Black Friday! Cyber Monday! Christmas! Three words: shopping, shopping, shopping. The best deals are happening right now and our inboxes are flooded with 50% off select items emails from every store we've subscribed to. We go Black Friday shopping and splurge a little bit too much in the Cyber Monday sale. We spend on ourselves because the deals are too good to pass up and buy gifts for everyone one and their dogs.

We can get caught up in this season of adding things into our shopping cart and wishing for those Christmas gifts instead of being grateful for what's right in front of us. We need to take a step back and acknowledge how blessed we are. Most of us will have a Christmas tree this year. Most of us can go on vacation for winter break. Most of us can afford to buy into all those deals in our inbox. Most of us have the luxury of indulging on what we want.

But what about those who can't?

it's a season of receiving but it should also be a season of giving; giving to those who need it. Giving to those who are struggling to make ends meet. Giving to those who don't have a roof over their head. Instead of focusing on ourselves, we should take a look at what little difference we can make in someone's life in our community or around us. Although to us, it may seem like a little, to them it can make all the difference.

We have to take a step back from the ads bombarding us left and right and just be grateful for the people around us.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying don't Black Friday or Cyber Monday or Christmas shop. I'm just saying we need to look just a little beyond that and take some time to refocus our attention to gratitude and giving instead on consuming and indulging in ourselves.

So this holiday season, get a little grateful and keep an eye out for who you can help and give back to because you never know what difference that can make in someone's life.

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An Honest Review Of ItWorks! From Someone Who Doesn't Sell The Products

No, I'm not looking for you to "join a team" or begin any challenges.
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I'm sure you've seen your friends on Facebook transition from friend to salesman. Whether it be for Scentsy, LipSense, or AdvoCare; multi-level marketing companies are on the rise thanks to social media. ItWorks! remains one of the most prominent.

ItWorks! is a health and wellness company using primarily plant-based ingredients without any artificial sweeteners or coloring. Their "number one seller" is the famous body wraps but the company is mostly weight loss supplements and vitamins. The company has a passion for the natural over the synthetic. Co-founder Mark Pentecost states on the site's Our History page that "you want to know that you're putting the very best things in your body."

Since most reviews of these products come from distributors, who are therefore biased, I have reviewed three of their greatest products and one I believe you should avoid.

1. Greens™ Blend Chocolate

As a vegan, I sometimes have to double check that I'm receiving the proper nutrients. ItWorks! Greens have been saving my life lately. It contains 52 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods as well as 34 fruits and veggies. It is meant to alkalize, balance, and detoxify.

This is my favorite product! It gives me energy and even fills in for breakfast sometimes. It honestly makes me feel great. Then again... they always said eating all your fruits and veggies would!

ItWorks! gives you those healthy servings in a delicious chocolate flavor (which is bomb with almond milk). Make sure you use a blender bottle or blender. Like many powdered supplements, it can have that grainy aftertaste.

2. Advanced Formula Fat Fighter™

The idea behind this supplement is that it’s "okay to indulge if you have your Fat Fighters." Basically, if you just must have that sweet treat or piece of bread then you can take this pill within an hour to prevent your body from absorbing the carbs and a portion of the fats. If you're anything like me, you eat what you want when you want, so you'll end up taking these pills on the daily.

The main reason I like the Fat Fighters is that they reduce cravings and I normally have such a sweet tooth!

3. ThermoFIGHT™

This product is meant to increase calorie burning, boost the rate of your metabolism, and boost your energy. Like with Greens, I definitely feel energized when I take this supplement. Not in a jittery or wired way, either.

They say "abs start in the kitchen" but I'll try and cheat the system when I can!

4. Ultimate Body Applicator™ and Defining Gel™

This is the ItWorks! claim to fame... and that ASTOUNDS me.

I used to be so skeptical of this company because of the wraps. I tried them three different times and was not impressed each time. The ultimate body applicator and defining gel are meant to tighten and tone the skin to redefine the appearance of your body’s contour. Sure, you'll receive those results... just at an outrageous price. It's an expensive product that requires a lot of re-purchasing in order to receive any drastic results. Not to mention the most drastic results are just reduction of water weight.

They're really just an overpriced skin firming lotion. I suggest finding a nice cream from Target and sitting in the sauna instead.

If your facebook-friend-turned-salesman pushes for you to buy the wraps, just remember that I warned you.

I would like to give an honorary mention to KetoCoffee (probably their second most popular item). Because it is not vegan, I have not given it a try. I have heard amazing things from multiple women, though. Most keto coffee recipes give people the shakes and amp them up too hard. I've heard that ItWorks! has perfected the recipe.

I have used the first three products for a little over three months now. Sometimes I am inconsistent and miss servings. However, I match these products with a vegan diet (mostly whole foods based) and 3-4 days of exercise. I do not have drastic results but I have lost a little over ten pounds and feel great each day. I plan to remain a customer with this company (I have Greens on Autoship!).

I feel so blessed to be a Loyal Customer with ItWorks! because I receive up to 40% off and free shipping after three months. Without this discount, I probably never would have given this company a second thought. I highly recommend going that route because, well...

Cover Image Credit: Savanah Garcia | Instagram

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What I Learned After I Kept A Gratitude Journal For A Semester

Even the worst days, have one good thing.

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In high school, I was assigned to write three things I was grateful for a whole semester. We each got a brand new composition notebook and were told it would be checked monthly. At first, I was annoyed about having another (what I thought at the time) pointless assignment. However, like any assignment, I did it because it was for a grade.

Every day I scribbled down something I was thankful for in my life. In the beginning, it was easy. I would hastily write family member names, friends, internet...but after a week, I realized I would have to spend more than a minute writing in my journal. Repetition was not allowed, so as the semester went by, my list of three eventually became very specific. I would write that I thankful for the teacher not collecting the homework I forgot to do or receiving a new pair of shoes. It became to the point where whenever something good happened during the day I would think, "I can add this to my gratitude journal today!"

Suddenly, everything I was doing became a moment of gratitude. My friend sharing Cheez-its with me, despite her doing so for the whole of high school was a reason to be thankful. I was grateful that my shoes not getting soaked in the rain even though the rain made me late.

My mindset changed positively after a semester of recording reasons to be grateful. I say thank you much more than I did prior to keeping the journal. I realized I am grateful for every little thing in my life. However, combining everything as one clump of things to be thankful for makes you lose sight of the everyday occurrences that make you feel happy in that moment of that particular day. The worst day can make it seem like nothing is going right. Yet a simple act such as eating dinner with a friend can reverse the terrible day just because you are able to see them.

Searching for the list of three is not to undermine struggles or bad days. Instead, it helps you power through the miserable ones and amplifies the best ones. Sometimes the fact that your socks are dry can be the reason you feel like you have not had the worst day in the world.

It has been two years after this assignment and I still do this exercise. It has become more of an unconscious habit now. Anytime I experience anything that makes me happy, I add it to my growing list of gratitude. Often times, it is more than a list of three.

It sounds cliche, but some blessings are disguised very well.

As it is the beginning of a new year, perhaps one resolution (if you don't have one or if you do add it to the list), can be writing down at least three things you are grateful for daily. Without a doubt, I can say that practicing gratitude has made me a happier person overall.

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