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The incredible Lemon

 

Are you a fan of lemons? I know that not many people are because lemons are extremely sour.

When our son was little he would eat lemon slices. The sour and bitter taste didn’t bother him one bit. I guess that is why he can tolerate extremely sour candies. Blah! I can’t eat those things.

I like lemons when they are incorporated into recipes. I also prefer lemon juice in my tea instead of milk, cream, sugar or honey. A dash of lemon in my hot (or cold) cup of tea is very refreshing.

Did you know that lemons are good for you? Lemon juice, and even the skin, has health benefits that you shouldn’t overlook, even if you are not a lemon fan.

Lemons are low in fat and calories, as are most fruits.

Lemons provide you with important vitamins and minerals like Folate, Niacin, Riboflavin, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitaamin E, Vitamin K, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Zinc. Lemons don’t provide you with huge amounts of some of these vitamins and minerals (you’d have to eat a lot of lemons), but lemons are a tasty way to get these important vitamins and minerals into your body.

Lemons do contain more potassium than grapes are apples. Potassium is important for heart health.

My lemon squeezer

Lemons are part of the citrus family and are a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system.

There are plenty of other health benefits associated with eating lemons (or drinking their juice). Some have some scientific basis, where as others are unfounded but many people to be true. Here are just a few examples.

  • Lemons can help restore balance to the body’s pH level.
  • Lemon juice added to a large glass of water in the morning is a great liver detoxifier.
  • Lemons have powerful antibacterial properties and can help destroy bacteria that causes such diseases as malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases.
  • The citric acid in lemon juice can help to dissolve gallstones, calcium deposits, and kidney stones.
  • Lemon can aid in digestion and help to regulate your bowels.
  • Lemon juice can help boost your metabolism.

These are just a few benefits to consuming lemons or lemon juice. Like I mentioned before, come claims do have science to back them up. Others are things that people say and believe to be true. Regardless, I enjoy lemons – in my tea, a glass of water and in recipes.

I use a lot of lemon juice throughout the week (mostly in my tea). I used to buy those little lemon shaped squeeze bottles but I found that I went through them too quickly. Juicing fresh lemons is too time consuming and messy. I only use real lemons if a recipe calls for it.

I like Santa Cruz Organic 100% Lemon Juice because it not only comes in a nice sized bottle (which means I won’t run out of it so quickly), but it’s also organic. My family and I have been slowly transitioning to more organic products. Our daughter is way ahead of us in that aspect (she will only eat organic foods).

You can enjoy Santa Cruz Organic 100% Lemon Juice to create mouth watering marinades, zesty salad dressings, cakes, pies and of course beverages like ice tea and lemonade. Lemon juice is very versatile. You can even clean with lemon juice. I use a little bit of lemon juice in a microwave safe bowl and microwave it for a minute and let the lemon scented steam clean, deodorize and refresh our microwave.

When I was a teenager (a million years ago) I would use lemon juice to add highlights to my hair. It does work but I don’t recommend it. It’s messy, sticky and not exactly good on your hair.

You can even freshen up your home with a bowl of lemons. They are nature’s air fresheners.

If you are unfamiliar with the Santa Cruz Organic brand, here is some additional information.

As a pioneer organic brand, Santa Cruz Organic® was the first to have a wide range of organic, 100 percent juices and blends and the first juice processor to use all organic fruit sourced from growers certified by an independent, third-party certification organization.  With a history of developing innovative products, Santa Cruz Organic currently offers more than 60 organic items ranging from organic fruit juices and lemonades to organic fruit sauces, chocolate syrups, peanut butters and fruit spreads.

All Santa Cruz Organic products are Certified USDA Organic Non-GMO Project® Verified.

You might have seen their products in the organic section of your local grocery store.

If you are into lemons, and enjoy lemon juice, you should pick up a bottle or two of Santa Cruz Organic 100% Lemon Juice. It’s great to keep on hand since lemon juice has so many wonderful benefits and uses.

If you are interested in learning more about Santa Cruz Organic, you can visit their official website, www.SantaCruzOrganic.com for more information. The brand can also be found on social media.

Are you a fan of lemons? What is your favorite way to enjoy lemons/lemon juice? Have you noticed any health benefits from consuming lemons/lemon juice? Feel free to share your thought. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Santa Cruz Organics to bring you this information. I received free product samples and compensation. The opinions expressed are my own (unless otherwise noted) and not influenced in any way.

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IHOP’s All You Can Eat Pancakes Promotion ends February 12, 2017!

 

This past weekend my husband and I had the opportunity to do something we rarely get to do – have quality time together without our kids. Don’t get me wrong, our kids mean the world to us. But there does come a point where you want to do something with your significant other without the kids tagging along.

Now that our kids are young adults (17 and almost 20), we feel confident leaving them for a day or two. Besides, someone needs to be home to take care of our “mini-zoo.”

This past weekend my husband and I went away to spend the night at a hotel (more on that in another post). We had a lovely dinner out at a restaurant and had planned on going to see a movie. My husband was a bit tired so we ended up not going to a movie, but he did take me to Build-a-Bear. I made a cute, fuzzy bunny. He even kissed the little heart that goes inside of it. Awww… I love him!

After a somewhat restful night at the hotel (my Sciatica bothered me all night – but hubby had a great night’s sleep), we were famished and looking forward to a yummy breakfast. Normally we eat cereal or oatmeal for breakfast. We love it when we can enjoy a full breakfast which include eggs, sausage, bacon, ham, hashbrowns, pancakes and/or French Toast. We normally don’t make those things during the work/school week (except eggs) because we really don’t have the time.

My husband and I went to a near by IHOP because we wanted to take advantage of their “All You Can Eat Pancake” promotion, which ends on February 12th (2017).

My husband patiently waiting to order his all you can eat pancakes.

You read that right – all you can eat pancakes! Thick, fluffy, mouthwatering pancakes topped with your favorite topping or one of the many syrup varieties found on your table.

The IHOP All You Can Eat Pancakes promotion gives you two different options – you can simply enjoy all the pancakes you can eat or you can enjoy all you can eat pancakes along side a meal. My husband and I were starving so we opted to get a meal AND the all you can eat pancakes.

The food was wonderful as always, but in hindsight we should have just stuck with the all you can eat pancakes. We thoroughly enjoyed a lot of pancakes and ended up not eating most of our meal (my hubby ate more of his meal than I did). The delicious pancakes were what we were most focused on. They were SO GOOD!

The whole meal was good but it was A LOT of food.

From where I was seated I could see into the kitchen. I was amazed at home any plates of pancakes came out of there. It was like every minute a plate (or two) of freshly made pancakes, hot off the grill, were making their way to all the tables. I think almost everyone in the restaurant was there for the all you can eat pancakes.

IHOP serves the pancakes to you two at a time. They will continue to bring them to you until you tell them to stop. They were not kidding about that either. No sooner did we finish the last bite of the last pancake we had two new plates (one for me and one for my husband) of hot pancakes ready to enjoy.

The pancakes come with a dollop of butter on top. You can also get them with fresh fruit fruit. In addition there is a nice selection of syrups on each table.

Oh so good!

I grew up eating pancakes with butter and sugar. My husband likes to drown them in syrup.

Normally when we eat out I don’t order pancakes. I tend to go for the eggs, ham and hashbrowns/potatoes. I am IN LOVE with IHOP’s pancakes now. I know that from now on when we eat out at IHOP I’ll be ordering their fluffy pancakes. They were delicious!

To find an IHOP location near you, visit IHOP.com. You can also check them out on social media. All of their links are found at the bottom of their website.

HURRY! The IHOP All You Can Eat Pancake promotion ends on February 12, 2017!

Are you a fan of IHOP?

Have you taken advantage of their all you can eat pancake promotion yet?

Kimberly

*I received a gift card in order to do this review. There was no other compensation. We also enjoy eating at IHOP on our own (no review/compensation). The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Enter to win the Chuao Gourmet Girlfriend Getaway Sweepstakes

 

Beach

I need a getaway. No, seriously, I NEED one badly! My family and I have not have a real vacation since my son was two years old. He’s seventeen now. Needless to say it’s been a while.

My husband and I would love to have a getaway, just the two of us. Sadly it’s just not feasible at this moment in time.

I remember when my girlfriends and I would go on adventurous getaways, most especially my best friend Dee. Dee and I would literally hop in the car and just drive and see where we end up. We didn’t use maps. We didn’t have any plans and we certainly didn’t rely on GPS (there was no such thing as GPS back then). In fact, we didn’t even have cellphones back then. We just drove.

One time we planned on spending a day or two at an amusement park in New Jersey. We ended up driving to Virginia Beach instead and even drove down to Kitty Hawk, N.C.

Another time we have a few days off from work and school. We just got in the car and drove. We ended up spending the night in Stowe, VT, Burlington VT and at a bed and breakfast just north of Boston. During that getaway we rode on an old fashioned train, went whale watching and got the worse sunburn of our lives – but it was all worth it. We had a blast and we still talk about that adventure to this day.

Chuao, makers of delicious gourmet chocolates, knows how important getaways can be. That is why they are hosting a Gourmet Girlfriend Getaway Sweepstakes.

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Decadent chocolate meets seaside luxury as island wellness destination, the Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa and Southern California’s premier artisan chocolatier, Chuao Chocolatier partner for a Gourmet Girlfriend Getaway.

The sweepstakes runs from January 19 until February 9, 2017.

One grand prize winner and three of their friends will receive a year’s supply of Chuao Chocolates, a two-night stay at the Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa in an oversized two-bedroom Cottage, rejuvenating 50-minute spa treatment at the award-winning Spa at Coronado Island, plus champagne upon arrival and breakfast for four each day. Additionally, three weekly winners will be selected and will receive a one-night weekend stay and a Grand Chocolate Bar Tower.

Sounds wonderful! I could easily think of three girlfriends to invite with me if I was the lucky winner.

If you would like to learn more about the sweepstakes, or to enter, visit the Gourmet Girlfriend Getaway Sweepstakes webpage on the Chuao website.

Entering is super easy. You just need to provide your name, email address and date of birth (to make sure you are old enough to enter). That’s it! There is no “jumping through hoops” to enter.

Speaking of Chuao. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. If you are in the market for some quality, gourmet treats for your special someone, Chuao has some yummy options you might want to look into.

Chuao sent me a couple of yummy options for your special someone.

Bonbons

 

Aphrodisiac Heart Bonbon Collection (5 pieces)

The five flavors include;

  • Salt Butter Caramel: Soft caramel with a bit of sea salt in dark chocolate*
  • Sweet Passion: Exotic passion fruit* cooked into soft caramel in milk chocolate*
  • Meyer Lemon Mojito: Meyer lemon caramel infused with fresh mint* cream in white chocolate
  • Strawberry Seduction: Sweet strawberry* caramel with a touch of tangy balsamic in dark chocolate*
  • Rosemary Salted Caramel: Salt butter caramel infused with fresh rosemary* in milk chocolate*.

Hearts1

My favorite is the Salt Butter Caramel. Dark chocolate and salted caramel in one treat – YUM!!!!

The Strawberry Seduction was also decadent. I love balsamic vinegar on my strawberry, spinach and feta cheese salad. I would never in a million years think to add it to chocolate. Simply scrumptious!

Love Child

Love Child 6 Piece Bonbon Collection

The love child of port wine and chocolate covered strawberries, this bonbon is one of our favorites to create… and eat! Dark and rich, sweet and tangy, it’s full of all natural aphrodisiacs and is ready to sweep you off your feet!

If you love chocolate covered strawberries you are going to LOVE these bonbons. The have all the delightful flavor of chocolate covered strawberries with a bit of a port wine “kick” to them.

Chuao-Bonbons

What I love about the collections (aside from how delicious they taste) is that they are just enough sweet treats without going overboard. No one needs a ginormous box of chocolates. In addition, when you are enjoying gourmet chocolates, such as these, you are meant to savor each and every bite, not woof them down like a bag of chips.

Chuao has plenty of other Valentine’s Day offerings to suit any budget. They also have their specialty chocolates that are available year round such as Caramel Apple Crush, Ravishing Rocky Road, Popcorn Pop, Triple Nut Temptation, Pretzel Toffee Twirl and Baconluxious to name a few.

For more information about Chuao Chocolatier visit ChuaoChocolatier.com.You can also check them out on social media. All of their links are found on the bottom of their website.

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Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Celebrate Life’s Little Moments with Entenmann’s Little Bites newest fun flavor – Chocolate Party Cakes!

 

Birthday 3

What is it about cake that gets people excited? Is it the mouth watering flavors? Is it the fun decorations? Or is it something else?

I know this sound weird, but I seem cake – especially an ordinary birthday cake (nothing too fancy) – as a “comfort food.” Whenever I have a slice of birthday cake (chocolate and/or vanilla) topped with sprinkles I automatically feel like a kid.

Are you familiar with Entenmann’s® Little Bites®? They have a Party Cake muffin. I have had them before. They are so good! I think that is why they are not easy to find – people keep buying them up.

Entenmann’s® Little Bites® now has a new flavor – one that is sure to excite many people – Chocolate Party Cakes! Yes, you read that right – CHOCOLATE Party Cakes. Yum!!! They even have sprinkles.

The new Little Bites® Chocolate Party Cakes are the latest edition to Entenmann’s® Seasonal Favorites line.  They are overflowing with flavor which is sure to please chocolate lovers everywhere.

I was sent a package of the new Little Bites® Chocolate Party Cakes to review. Mmm… they are delicious! I am grateful for the individual pre-portioned packages otherwise I’d eat the entire box.

Little Bites

Did you know that Entenmann’s® Little Bites® contain no high fructose corn syrup, are made with real ingredients, certified Kosher, and are less than 200 calories per pouch.

Sadly, the new Little Bites® Chocolate Party Cakes are only available for a limited time (up until May 20, 2017). They just recently started rolling out to stores across the country, so keep an eye out for them. You could stock up on them but please keep in mind they are made fresh and have a limited shelf life, so you’d need to enjoy the right away. Trust me… once you try this new flavor they will be gone right away. You won’t have to worry about them expiring.

Entenmann’s® Little Bites® are available in a variety of flavors including banana, blueberry, fudge brownie, crumb cake, Snickerdoodle, and one of my family’s favorites – chocolate chip.

Entenmann’s® Little Bites® are individually packaged so you can grab one and toss it in your lunch. It’s an idea on-the-go snack.

The new Little Bites® Chocolate Party Cakes (as well as the regular Party Cakes) are a fun way to celebrate life’s little moments. You don’t need to bake an entire cake – you can celebrate with these miniature versions.

Chocolate Little Bites

Some examples of moments you can celebrate are passing an important test, riding a bike without training wheels, advancing to a “big boy” or “big girl” bed, finishing a project at work or even passing a driver’s test. There are literally dozens (if not ore) little moments in life that could use a little celebration. And what a better way to celebrate than with party cake – even miniature versions of them like Little Bites® Chocolate Party Cakes.

If you would like to learn more about these and other Entenmann’s products you can visit the Entenmann’s® Little Bites® website, You can also “like” Entenmann’s® Little Bites® on Facebook and follow Entenmann’s® Little Bites® on Instagram and Pinterest.

To see what others are saying about the new flavor, as well as current Entenmann’s® Little Bites®, check out the hashtag #LoveLittleBites on social media.

What do you think about the new flavor? Are you excited to try it out?

Do you have a favorite Entenmann’s® Little Bites® flavor?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Entenmanns-Little-Bites-Logo

Kimberly

*I received free product samples and other goodies in exchange for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Forget Chocolate! Red Juices Are A Healthier Valentine Alternative

 

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From Valentine’s Day to Heart Health Month, February is splashed with red.

Although chocolates may rule as a popular Valentine gift, those in the mood for a healthier treat can enjoy strawberries, cherries, raspberries, cranberries, watermelon, tomatoes and beets and reap the rewards.

These vibrant foods have a cornucopia of nutrients that love you back by healing your body and preventing disease, says best-selling author and nutritionist Cherie Calbom, known as “The Juice Lady,” whose latest book is The Juice Lady’s Guide to Fasting (www.juiceladycherie.com).

For example, numerous studies show that just one glass of beet juice lowers blood pressure in people with high blood pressure, she says. Other attributes of these red-themed fruits and vegetables include:

  • Tomato juice has lycopene, a phytonutrient that studies show reduces the risk for prostate cancer. Tufts and Boston University researchers discovered that the highest intake of lycopene was linked to nearly a 30 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.
  • One study published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods found that tart cherry juice can improve sleep in older adults with insomnia.
  • Another study found that quercitin, a powerful antioxidant found in tart cherry juice, helped people fight heart disease by preventing oxidative damage to LDL cholesterol.
  • Strawberry juice is rich in vitamin C and folate—nutrients that help you fight cancer.
  • The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that the intake of raspberries can lower the risk of death from cardiovascular disease due to their high content of anthocyanins, flavonoids that reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a leading cause of heart disease.
  • Watermelon has more lycopene than tomatoes—making it a delicious heart healthy fruit.

For those seeking to lose weight before Valentine’s Day, Calbom recommends a one-day red juice fast. “You can lose at least a pound a day and recharge your energy,” she says.

health - wet apple

Heart Healthy Juice Recipes

Red Sunrise

Beets have been shown to lower blood pressure in a matter of hours. One study found that drinking one glass of beet juice lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 4 to 5 points.

  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 small beet with tops
  • 1 cucumber, peeled if not organic

Cut produce to fit your juicer’s feed tube. Juice ingredients, stir and enjoy. Serves 1.

Rosy Glow

All red, orange, and green vegetables and fruit are rich in carotenoids. Studies show that carotenoids give your skin an attractive rosy glow, even more appealing than being out in the sun.

  • 4-5 medium carrots, tops removed
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 small beet, with or without a few tops
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1-inch chunk ginger root

Juice all ingredients, stir and enjoy! Serves 1-2

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Icy, Spicy Gazpacho

  • Cilantro has been shown in studies to help the body detox heavy metals such as mercury, lead and aluminum.
  • 2 tomatoes, cut in chunks
  • 1 cup fresh carrot juice (about 5–7 carrots)
  • 1 lemon, juiced, peeled, if putting it through a juice machine
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 small jalapeño, chopped (more if you like it hot)
  • 3 radishes

Place the tomato chunks in a freezer bag and freeze until solid. This is optional.  (Or you can use fresh tomatoes placed in the blender.)  Pour the carrot and lemon juices into a blender and add the frozen tomato chunks, cilantro, salt, cumin, jalapeño, and radishes. Blend on high speed until smooth, but slushy; serve immediately. Serves 2

Fruits and Veggies

About Cherie Calbom, MSN (aka The Juice Lady)

Cherie Calbom MSN holds a Master of Science degree in whole foods nutrition from Bastyr University. Known as “The Juice Lady” for her work with juicing and health, she is the author of 32 books including her latest The Juice Lady’s Guide to Fasting and Sugar Knockout. She and her husband offer juice cleanse retreats throughout the year, 30-Day Detox online and Garden’s Best Juice Powder. She has lectured worldwide on juicing, detoxing and fasting including consulting for the Royal Family of the UAE. Winner of the TTAC Lifetime Achievement Award for her work with juicing and detoxification, her blogs and books on juicing, cleansing and health have helped thousands of people live healthier lives. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for her free newsletter at www.juiceladycherie.com

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Wonder Water: 6 Unexpected Infused Water Ideas for Gorgeous Skin

 

Drinks

While most dermatologists and doctors preach the benefits of drinking more water, water gets boring. Perhaps you’ve done just about everything to make your plain glass of water more enjoyable. If you’re running out of ideas and are tempted to reach for a caffeinated beverage you’re not alone. We talked to the experts who gave us six fresh infused water recipes that’ll pack a punch of flavor and add health and beauty benefits to your H2O! If you’re new to infused water it’s easy. Chop up the ingredients, let them sit over night in your water pitcher and sip your way to healthy hydration inside and out.

Mango Ginger

This combo might seem weird, but adding the health benefits of ginger and the antioxidant power of mangoes is a surprisingly tasty mix! “Mangoes contain so many vitamins that help boost your immune system. It has antioxidants that maintain youthful glowing skin and aid in the production of blood cells,” says Dr. Christopher Calapai D.O. an anti-aging expert and long-time health advisor to the New York Rangers hockey team.  “Ginger is also helpful in fighting infection, has been linked to lower cholesterol levels, may reduce muscle aches, and helps digestion,” adds Dr. Calapai.  

Grapefruit Rosemary

Recently rosemary was found to be the main ingredient eaten by residents of an Italian village with one of the highest populations of people who live past 100! “Rosemary improves circulation and sends more blood to the brain which is linked to greater concentration and potentially reduces risk of Alzheimer’s,” says Dr. Calapai. Grapefruit is not only delicious but it’s a natural fat burner, boosts metabolism and cleanses your liver.

National Watermelon Day

Melon Mix

Cut up watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe chunks and throw into your water over night. “This melon variety tastes great and is amazing for your skin,” says Dr. Kally Papantoniou board certified dermatologist and clinical instructor at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. “Melons are immensely hydrating, meaning more hydration per cup of water. They are also chock-full of antioxidants that keep skin clear plus they contain vitamins that promote collagen production which helps skin cell turnover.”

Citrus Mint Pick your favorite citrus fruits, cut up into slices and add some crushed mint.  “Adding mint to your water is not only extra refreshing but also improves digestive health and can speed up your metabolism,” says Dr. Calapai. “Mint actually contains salicylic acid, a potent acne fighter,” says Dr. Papantoniou. “It’s also well known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties which work to calm irritation both on your skin or internally,” she adds.

Cucumber Lavender

“The reason so many spas use cucumber based treatments is because it contains many skin friendly minerals like magnesium, potassium and silicon,” says Dr. Papantoniou. “This mix is especially healthy,” says Dr. Calapai “Cucumbers are powerful detoxifiers, flushing out any waste in your system. Adding crushed lavender to the mix not only adds a beautiful aroma but can also help digestion as lavender contains polyphenols that reduce bad bacteria in your gut, making your system run smoother,” he explains.

Pineapple Coconut Water
This one is almost cheating… almost. Get your favorite store bought raw coconut water and refrigerate over night with large chunks of pineapple. The coconut-pineapple flavor combo is delicious and reminiscent of a piña colada without all the sugar and calories. Although this is not pure H2O, coconut water contains electrolytes which plain water does not, which rehydrate you in record time. “Pineapple is yet another fruit that aids in collagen production,” says Papantoniou “This is not just great for beautiful skin, collagen also has a major role in bone health and tissue repair.”

Clearly there are benefits to keeping hydrated. Water does not have to be boring, it can be delicious. Drink up!

Drink water

About the author:

Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, anti-aging medicine and chelation therapy. Proclaimed as the “The Stem Cell Guru” by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. He is the author of E-books Heavy Metals and Chronic Disease, Reverse Diabetes Forever! Seven Steps to Healthy Blood Sugar, Top Ten Supplements You Can’t Live Without, and Glorious Glutathione. Learn more about Dr. Calapai on his website, www.drcal.net.

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