PRODUCT REVIEW: Mushroom Coffee!

Um, hello! Could anything sound more disgusting but taste more delish? Answer: NO!

First off, let me say I’ve never been much of a fan of the ‘shroom. The texture, the taste…the smell. However, I know that certain varieties of mushrooms are incredible from a health standpoint, so when I heard about this awesome thing called “Mushroom Coffee” from Tim Ferriss’ podcast, I was just too curious to resist!

Four Sigmatic is made up of some buddies from Finland who have developed easy, tasty ways to enjoy mushrooms, the “super food” that was a super food before super foods were all the hype šŸ™‚ Ā After perusing their website, and trying to decide what to try first, I saw an awesome sampler box that held everything I wanted, one dose at a time!

20160922_104315.jpgSo, although I originally thought I would put together a video about these goodies, I decided there are plenty of awesome videos if you get on YouTube or the Four Sigmatic website and check them out. However, I would like to share my take on each of the “flavors” I got to enjoy…and the one that I didn’t. Here’s my spin on things, in order from my most to least favorites:

  1. Mushroom Coffee w/ Cordyceps: “Stimulation without jitters” Guys, this stuff tastes amazing!!! It smells like coffee, tastes like a zesty instant coffee, and made me feel ohhhh so good! The company promised this good stuff as stimulation without the jitters and that’s exactly what I got! I didn’t feel a jolt or a crash, just a nice, steady, delicious ride through a sea of productivity.
  2. Mushroom Hot Cacao w/ Cordyceps: “Energize & feel good” I don’t know that this would pass as hot chocolate with my kids, but it’s still a truly tasty, chocolaty treat without the choco guilt, milky mucusy gross, or heaviness of the real deal. This hot cacao has a spiciness like a fancy Mexican hot cocoa, and is rich, delicious, and still gave me an awesome pick-me-up on a cool autumn morning!
  3. Cordyceps Elixir: “Energy boost & recovery” So, clearly, I like the cordyceps! I didn’t even know what it was before this sweet sampler box, but I’m officially a FAN! Apparently, this magical mixture helps support adrenal glands and maintain constant energy levels…no wonder I love it so! All I really know is that this elixir tasted as good as the mushroom coffee and hot cacao recipes which include the cordyceps, and it offered a great boost for my day.
  4. Mushroom Coffee w/ Lion’s Mane: “Increase productivity” This coffee, while still delicious, smelled like mushrooms…or feet. I still got all of the feel-good benefits from drinking this cup of hot deliciousness, but enjoyed it much more once I put it in one of my lidded to-go cups so I wouldn’t have to smell it. I know Lion’s Mane is a great addition to my health regimen, and I love the nutty flavor of this ‘shroom coffee…as long as I don’t have to smell it šŸ˜‰
  5. Mushroom Hot Cacao w/ Reishi: “Melt away stress” There’s just something special about hot drinks; they’re cozy, they’re soothing, they’re something to be savored, they’re meant to take a little time to enjoy. This mushroom cacao is soothing like that. Also nutty with a creaminess that hints at chocolate, this is just a really wonderful, hot cup of yummy.
  6. Chaga Elixir: “Bulletproof immunity” With this elixir, I begin the downward slope of my list, but I do it with this caveat: I drank these on their own, mixed only with hot water. I understand that there are many wonderful ways to enjoy these elixirs, herbs, mushrooms, etc. that may taste more delicious, be more palatable, and even boost the nutritional pow…but I wanted to find out my thoughts on the individual packets before venturing down that path. The chaga was good, and I knew it was good for me, so I enjoyed the warm cup and dreamt of future cuppings which may include some coconut oil, almond milk, or some other variation.
  7. Lion’s Mane Elixir: “Brain power” I even referenced drinking this in one of my “Get Ready with Me” videos! I enjoyed the flavor of this elixir, but similar to the mushroom coffee that included the lion’s mane, it definitely has a distinct odor. Tastes great, made me feel good, but gives my teenage son’s feet a run for their money!
  8. Reishi Elixir: “Relax & sleep deeper” Guys, gotta be honest here. I couldn’t even finish this one. It tasted so bad to me…I don’t know if I got enough into my system to help with sleep or relaxation because I likely only swallowed about three sips. If I ever have an opportunity to try this one again in a different form, or added to some base that would mask the reishi taste, I would like to. I could definitely use the hormonal regulation and lowering cortisol levels that reishi is known for, but straight with hot water isn’t happening again.

There you have it, folks! The quality of all of these handy-dandy packets was so great! Each powdery mixture dissolved like a dream in my hot water, without chunks or anything gross. The packaging is so creative and top-notch, and the natural elements of knowing this is an environmentally friendly operation made me feel extra good purchasing and drinking their goods. When consumed as I did, all of these dual-extracted mushroom mixtures are vegan and paleo-friendly. For every box, Four Sigmatic will use part of the revenue to donate mushroom kits to cancer patients! AND, as an added BONUS, HERE IS A $10 COUPON FROM FOUR SIGMATIC TO USE TOWARD YOUR FIRST/NEXT PURCHASE!

If you have tried this or similar mushroom super food products that you love (or hate, for that matter), I’d love to hear about them! What should I try next? Do YOU love Four Sigmatic?? Ā What helps give you a pick-me-up that also is doing good things for your body? Thanks for sharing!!!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Where Do You Sit?

I had a PolySci professor who would bellow again and again and again, every single class, “Where you sit is where you stand!” It was a call to action. It was a call to the realization that even NOT taking action is also an action. It was a call to the reality that even a non-decision is a decision unto itself.

He didn’t want us to just go along with the status quo. He wanted us to continue to challenge the “this is the way it’s always been done” of life. And, although he an I were on opposite sides of the political fence, he felt as if he had done his due diligence by making sure I stood somewhere, that I chose to stand for something.

I don’t remember much from that class except that prof allowed me to spend an entire semester studying all there was to know aboutĀ Arnold Schwarzenegger for my semester project, and this phrase the he would repeat. However, I do remember that line A LOT. I remember it when I am challenged or when I’m unsure. I remember it when I am indecisive or calculating. I remember it when I don’t feel like creating a #DAILYCHEER video for my YouTube channel but then hear that phrase in my mind’s ear and always remember that optimism and energy and motivation and problem solving is what I stand for.

So, where do you sit or stand today? Even in this presidential election year, this isn’t actually meant to be a classically political statement. It’s more of a statement to encourage you to live the life you believe in, one that you are proud of. Allow yourself to be heard, realizing that sitting back and just allowing life to happen to you is making it’s own statement. Don’t allow yourself to be relegated to the back of the bus on issues you find important. Stand up.

Where YOU sit is where YOU stand!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

The Social Media Trap

My beef with social media is simple: I follow people I know, people I like, people I look up to, and people I aspire to inspire across social media platforms. I then become frustrated to see the same posts across all social sites.

A picture of a sunset or a product or a person that is perfect for one market is not perfect across the board.

A picture of a sunset or a product or a person that is modified in hopes that it will be perfect across the board still is not.

I will un-follow someone very quickly if everything they post is a mirror of all I’ve seen from them on every other social media platform, and every time I un-follow someone for this reason it actually pains me. I want so badly for them to post unique, site-specific content that gives me a full picture of the person, product, company.

If I’m following a juice company, I’d love to laugh as someone chugs the juice down as quickly as possible on Snapchat. Meanwhile, on Pinterest I’m reading great smoothie recipes with one of their juices as the base. Instagram would present their juice in an ice-cold glass sitting beachside, and Facebook presents an informative yet still visually pleasing picture of the product in full display with the health benefits of this particular kind of juice and this particular brand. Twitter would share news and retweets of folks enjoying this juice all over the world, and YouTube might show a range of professional and amateur videos of people living and loving this brand of juice. This would be a company I would follow across all platforms, and as new platforms presented themselves, I would seek this company out every single time.

This same rationale applies to people, too. Every Snap is not meant for Facebook. Every blog post is not meant for LinkedIn. Every Insta pic is not meant for Twitter.

If you are interesting, followers will seek you out. We don’t have to try so hard for people to like us, they like us because we’re us. Maximize each social media platform for what it is, and enjoy the long term benefits of retention and presenting a broader picture of your life, your brand, and your world.

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Daily Cheer For ALL To Hear

Happy Monday, my friends! I’ve been allowing myself to be super distracted lately, and the result is that I’ve missed this website a great deal! Here’s a taste of a new thing I’m launching over on my YouTube Channel ( /marilynhortondotcom ) entitled #DailyCheer. It’s going to be a daily dose of encouragement and support to jump start your day (and MY day!) so jump on over there, please subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already, and enjoy daily OR save them up for a lousy day when you need some extra pep in your step.

Until next time, my friends…
Make it a great day,
Mari!yn
(YOUR #OptimismGuru)

What’s Happening to Human-Kind?

DPD Memorial ShieldMy heart is so heavy with all the ways humankind is seeking to destroy one another every single day. I know this sort of hatred has often existed throughout creation, but it feels like it’s more “in your face” than ever with the constant streaming videos and instant everything. This Dallas PD badge represents one of countless examples of how humankind is no longer being kind to one another. This hits especially close to home for me, a cop’s daughter and one in the business of serving law enforcement and fire personnel, but it extends so much further. I pray for humankind, those who look like me and those who do not look like me, those who believe what I do and those who do not, those who are rich and those who are poor, those who have all they need and those who are struggling. My heart is heavy and my prayers come out as deep, pained groans, but I know God hears my prayers.

Summer Is Reading Time

Summer is such a great time to pick up a book or five and just get lost in reading. There’s something in the mindset of summer that relaxes things.

I love to read year-round, and the library is my very best reading buddy! Although I used to frequent the book stores so much more often, I’ve found so much less guilt in disliking a book if I haven’t spent 15 bucks on it, first. When I find a true gem, I will still purchase it for future reading, highlighting, underlining, etc. But anymore that is a very special book, indeed.

Please join me in reading a little bit extra this summer. Of allowing a few more breaks in the routine for escape into the written word.

If you’d like to keep up with what I am reading beyond those I post or create video content about, you can check out the “Books” tab with quick reviews of what I’ve read most recently, and the ever-growing list of books I’d like to read next. Also, if you have suggestions and favorites, I’d love to hear about books you think I’d enjoy so I can add them to my reading wish list!

Until next time my friends, read on!

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Weekly Wrap-Up: April 23, 2016

Who can believe it’s already the end of April? I’m pretty sure the ball just dropped in NYC three days ago…

Binge Watching

The kids and I have about 30 minutes every school day when we have nothing to do but sit in a parking lot and wait. We fill that waiting time binge watching Netflix, and this week we’ve been zeroed in on “Malcolm in the Middle.” For old-school me, it’s like a more recent version of “Rosanne;” so wrong but still so, so funny!

Book Love

This week, I got a surprise in the mail from a sweet friend, Jennifer Paddock’s A Secret Word. I am looking forward to diving into this new-to-me (published in 2004) read, as the author is from Fort Smith, Arkansas. My family and I spent eight years living in Fort Smith, so the reference points in the book will be familiar and fun.

Prince & Other Music

Who isn’t listening to Prince this week since his passing on Thursday? I feel for you, I think I love you!

Prior to this hard sucker-punch to the music and arts, I was soaking up the sounds of Punch Brothers. Such diversity in sound. Such great lyrics and musical range. Once the world gets beyond Prince’s passing, I’ll be back to PB!

In Honor of Earth Day

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” ~Native American Proverb

Post From the Week I Most Want YOU to Read

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is winding down, but our passion for preventing sexual violence, rape, incest, and the like cannot pass with the passing of the month. Please check out my post: HEROES IN TEAL, and please watch the videos, and be inspired to knowledge rather than depressed. Let’s tackle issues like this with a survivor mentality over a victim mentality!

 

You Are Beautiful

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THIS is Lizzie Velasquez! Holy moly is this woman ever an inspiration. She is the epitome of internal beauty that *shines* out of her every pore!

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is beauty. Each person reading this is beautiful in so many ways. You have beauty inside of you, and you share beauty with those you love. The world has people in it who may try to tear you down and convince you that you ARE AMAZING! Now in her 20’s, LizzieĀ gives those who encounter her inspirationĀ to stand up against bullying of all sorts, as she knows first hand how painful and wide-spread bullying can be.

My hope is that you find Lizzie as inspirational and uplifting as I do. Go follow her, go watch her film, and get inspired to live your most beautiful life!!!Ā I stand with Lizzie!

Find Lizzie all over the interweb:
Her Website: http://imwithlizzie.com/
Her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizzieVelasquez
Her Twitter: https://twitter.com/littlelizziev
Her Instagram: https://instagram.com/littlelizziev

AND–If you go see her movie, or watch it online (I saw that you can watch it on-demand from her website…which I will be doing VERY shortly), please let me know and share your thoughts here!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn