It’s Time to Transform the Toy Industry

uecocnwxtsxrh8a86lys

#ToyLikeMe is a social media campaign striving to bring diversity to the toy industry, and a British toy company has started production on the new line of dolls with disabilities. How amazing is that!?

According to this article, over 150 million children around the world have disabilities. So why are companies just now starting to make diverse dolls? It’s 2015 – this could’ve (and should’ve) been done decades ago.

For now, the company is producing dolls with hearing aids, walking aids, and facial birthmarks, but says it’s working on making a doll in a wheelchair as well. I did some research online to see where I could buy the dolls, but they come at a hefty price. If you’re interested in buying them, this site has them for sale for about $130.

This line of dolls is definitely a step in the right direction, but toy manufacturers still have a long way to go. Don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing accomplishment for #ToyLikeMe! However, there are so many types of dolls companies could market to real-life girls.

For example, all dolls, regardless of race, disabilities, hair color, or gender, are always very thin, attractive, and done up with makeup. When will we start making dolls with different body types and real-life features?

Just think of all the possibilities!

  • Blind dolls with guide dogs
  • Dolls with allergies
  • Diabetic dolls with insulin shots
  • Dolls with missing/extra limbs
  • Burn victim dolls
  • Dolls with alopecia (hair loss)
  • Dolls who need chemotherapy
  • Dolls with oxygen tanks
  • Dolls with a cleft lip/pallet
  • Dolls who need an IV or feeding tube
  • Dolls who are shorter/taller than average
  • Dolls who weigh more/less than average
  • Dolls with big/small feet
  • And the list goes on!

These dolls would be great for children with disabilities or body image issues, but they’d be just as amazing for children without these issues. These dolls could teach children that no one is perfect and we should love ourselves no matter what. It would teach them compassion and acceptance of others even if they’re different from others.

Everyone wants their children to grow up thinking that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, so it’s time to take action! Appearance doesn’t define us.

I wish I had these kind of dolls growing up. I played with tall, blonde, model-like Barbie Dolls throughout my childhood. I’ve always had body image issues, although I can’t say they only came from playing with dolls. However, it certainly would’ve helped my self-esteem if I had dolls who were like real girls.

#ToyLikeMe has inspired me. We really can make a difference, and maybe by the time I have children, there will be more toys like this for them to play with. I can only hope!

What do you think of these disabled dolls? What other features would you like to see in these dolls?

Advertisements

My Top 5 Health Apps

health apps

I just entered the Smartphone world a few months ago, and my favorite thing about my phone is the ability for me to download apps. I have gone crazy on the app downloading! I have found tons of awesome apps dealing with health and fitness, but my favorites are those that help me with clean eating.  I have a Droid Razr M, so all of these apps are Android apps, and they are all FREE. Here are my top 5 favorite health apps!

Fooducate

This app is probably my all-time favorite. I have had it almost as long as I’ve had my phone, and I still love it.

This app lets you set up a profile with your nutritional goals. For example, if you want to lose weight, you can indicate you are interested in low-calorie foods. I am interested in clean eating, so I indicated I prefer to avoid processed foods.

After setting up a quick profile, all you have to do is scan the barcode on a product, and the app pulls up results for the food.

This app tells you:

  • An overall grade (ranging from A to D) based on your profile indications
  • A list of pros and cons about the food, shows you alternate options
  • The opportunity to share feedback with other users
  • The ability to you submit new products
  • Warnings of possible GMOs, sugar, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, additives and preservatives, MSG-like ingredients, artificial sweeteners, and more.

Did I mention I love this app!? Check out Foodcate!

ChefTap

This recipe app is truly amazing. It has the ability to find recipes online and convert them into easy-to-read recipes on your phone! It even carries over the picture and the link from the website.

This app can:

  • Import recipes from any website or blog
  • Import an entire recipe box from Epicurious or allrecipes.com
  • Import an entire pin board from Pinterest (That’s right, the WHOLE board of recipes!!)
  • Scan bookmarks for recipes and import them

It only takes 3 taps on your phone to import recipes into ChefTap. I imported a bunch of my own recipes, and it works great! Even if it imports a wrong ingredient, direction, or title, it is easy to edit. Give ChefTap a try!

HealthTap

This app gives you health tips, answers from doctors, how-to’s, and suggestions about health and fitness topics.  It lets you set up a profile with basic information, and options to add detailed information, like symptoms, medical history, allergies, and insurance information. You can search by topic, ask a question, view health tips about your interests, look up symptoms, and much more! If you like random health facts, HealthTap is for you!

Allthecooks Recipes

This app allows you to search thousands of recipes. You can search by ingredient, category, and special diet recipes (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.).

With this app, you can:

  • Bookmark recipes
  • Share recipes by email, text, Twitter, Facebook, and others
  • Create and upload your very own recipes
  • Connect with friends to share recipes and build community
  • Save and share a shopping list
  • Join forums and discuss recipes with others with similar food tastes

Not only is this app great, but it also has a really cool avocado icon! Who doesn’t like avocado? Anyway, give Allthecooks a try!

Nutrition Facts

This is a very helpful app when you are curious about  the nutritional information of food you are eating. I’m still in college, so all of my meals come from the cafeteria. I don’t have access to nutritional information for the foods I’m eating, so this app really comes in handy!

This app is easy to use. All you have to do is search for the food you’re eating, select the result you want, and look at the information. You can choose what serving size you are eating, and see nutritional information including calories, fats, cholesterol, protein carbs, and more.

This app is a staple for everyone who cares about what goes into their bodies! It’s free, so why not try Nutrition Facts!?

I hope you’ll give at least a couple of these apps a try! Like I said, Fooducate is definitely my favorite, but the others are great too! While you’re downloading your apps, add me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter!!

PRO Compression Calf Sleeves Review

picture of compression sleeves

After falling victim to horrible shin splints, I knew I needed to do something to solve the problem. I used to run almost every day on the elliptical machines, but recently began running on pavement every other day. The combination of the higher impact, an uneven running surface, and a concrete landing with every step resulted in very painful shin splints.

I tried lots of different things to help ease the pain. I took time off from running, but didn’t like doing that. I tried cycling instead, but I just didn’t feel like I got an effective workout by riding my bike. I tried high intensity interval training, but it’s not safe to do that every single day.

I finally decided I would try wearing compression sleeves to see if they helped. After scouring the Internet for a trustworthy, reliable brand, I chose PRO Compression Sleeves. I bought these sleeves three weeks ago, and I’ve been wearing them every time I workout, as well as most days at work. (I’m a server, so I’m on my feet all day).

Price: $27.00 (originally $45.00)

I emailed the company and asked if they had any upcoming sales/discounts, and they emailed me back within two days with a code to receive 45% off. Plus, they had free shipping!

I chose black so it would match with everything, but the sleeves are also offered in purple, white, and pink.

I used the sizing chart on the website, and they are very very tight. I know they’re supposed to be tight, but man, are they tight! They’re not uncomfortably tight once I manage to get them over my heel and big calves. In fact, I can hardly even tell they’re on.

I thought they would be really hot and make me sweaty, but they are very breathable. Even on an extremely warm day, they don’t seem any warmer than the rest of my legs.

The customer service at PRO Compression is great. Like I said, they emailed me right back within two days, answered all my questions, and gave me a phone number to call if I had anymore concerns.

The only thing that concerned me before I purchased these sleeves was the return policy. Only new, unused items can be returned. This meant that even if I only wore them once and decided I didn’t like them, I would still be stuck with them and lose my $27.00.

Also, after two weeks, some of the stitching has started to come loose. I’ve had to cut a few loose threads that have broken, and I’m afraid eventually there might be many more. This might be because the sleeves fit so tight over my heels when I put them on that the threads have broken.

I’ve been wearing these sleeves for three weeks, and my shin splints feel much better! I can’t say that these sleeves were the only cause of my legs healing, but they definitely didn’t hurt. It was most likely a combination of running fewer days each week, running shorter distances, icing my shins, and wearing the sleeves.

My overall opinion? These sleeves are definitely worth the $27 I paid. They most likely helped, although I can’t say for sure since I’m not a doctor. I wouldn’t spend $45 on these sleeves though, so I’d wait for a sale or email the company for a discount code.

 

Silk PureAlmond Review

Silk PureAlmond

After a recent trip to the store for groceries, I decided I would buy some almond milk to try. I’d read about how good it is and how many recipes you can use it in, so I thought why not? I bought the Silk PureAlmond Original Unsweetened Almond Milk and gave it a try.

You can find almond milk at the store by the rest of the milk (cow, soy, coconut) in the refrigerated section. There are lots of varieties: vanilla, chocolate, original, and original unsweetened. Original unsweetened is the only one without added sugar, so be sure to choose wisely.

What is almond milk? It’s made from ground almonds and water. The almonds are soaked in water, finely ground and blended, and strained to remove the almond pulp and skins.

Quick  Facts:

  • Costs $3.32 (for a half gallon at Wal-Mart)
  • Ingredients: filtered water, almonds, sea salt, bean gum, sunflower lecithin, gellan gum, natural flavor
  • Lactose free
  • Gluten free
  • Soy free
  • Non GMO (no genetically modified ingredients)
  • Must be refrigerated
  • Stays fresh for 7 to 10 days after opening

Nutritional Information (for 8 oz. serving):

  • Calories 30
  • Total Fat 2.5g (.5g polyunsaturated and 1.5g monounsaturated)
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sugars 0g
  • Protein 1g

Daily Value of Vitamins (for 8 oz. serving):

  • 45% Calcium
  • 25% Vitamin D
  • 50% Vitamin E
  • 10% Vitamin A
  • 30% Riboflavin
  • 50% Vitamin B
  • 8% Zinc
  • 4% Magnesium
  • 2% Iron

So, now for my thoughts on this almond milk. Please keep in mind, no one is paying me to say any of this. When I first opened it, I was cautious. I don’t really care for cow milk, so I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about almond milk. I won’t drink regular milk by itself because I don’t like the taste, smell, or texture. I only buy skim milk (so it’s thin), and I only really use it for cooking or occasionally on cereal.

Anyway, I shook up the almond milk and poured myself a glass. I was skeptical. I was surprised at how thick it was! It was an off-white color, and was about the same consistency of 2% or whole milk. I went in for a sip, and I was pleasantly surprised! This is just my opinion, but it’s amazing!

It has a mild almond-like taste. It’s nothing like cow milk. I can drink it plain (and I actually like to!). It’s great on cereal as well, but drinking it plain is my favorite.

Pros:

  • Delicious taste
  • Thick consistency
  • High in vitamins
  • 0g of sugar
  • Only 30 calories per serving
  • Non GMO

Cons:

  • Costs $3.32 for a half gallon
  • Has 7 ingredients (although they’re all natural, that’s still a lot for clean eating)
  • Only stays good for 7-10 days after opening

My overall opinion? I would recommend Silk PureAlmond to everyone. I will surely be buying it again, and I don’t think I will ever use cow milk again. It’s definitely worth giving a try, and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with it like I did.