September 2, 2012

Soothing Relief for the Weekend Warrior

by notmomscleaners

We know you’ve got them.  Aches and pains, that is.  Whether you’re a weekend warrior, daily gym-goer, or couch potato, a 20-something or someone well, more “seasoned” shall we say, minor aches, pains and stiffness are part of the reality of our lives.  And with winter coming, the problem for some, gets even worse.  But we don’t always want (or need) to take prescription or over the counter analgesics with all the side effects.  Enter J. R. Watkins Deep Muscle Warming Balm. A great muscle warm-up rub for the athlete or balm for the couch potato, J.R. Watkins Deep Muscle Warming Balm is formulated to provide quick, temporary relief from minor arthritic and rheumatic aches. With natural menthol and natural methyl salicylate, this balm packs a one-two counter-irritant punch!

Part of the Watkins line of natural home remedies, wintergreen extract (natural methyl salicylate), menthol and capsaicin join forces to warm up muscles naturally! Plus, we’ve eliminated potentially harmful chemicals like parabens and propylene glycol. Carry it in your gym bag or purse for deep-heating, greaseless, stainless pain relief on the go.


  • Deep penetrating formula: Absorbs into skin to relieve pain, leaving no greasy film; reduces muscular discomfort due to overexertion, fatigue and strains; provides temporary relief from minor aches and pains associated with simple backache, arthritis, bruises and sprains.
  • Cream base: Squeeze to apply; no mess or waste; long-lasting; has a moisturizing effect on the skin.
  • Non-staining: Clothing worn over treated areas won’t be affected.
  • Quick-acting: Absorbed rapidly to relieve soreness and relax muscle tension.
  • 99.0% natural (see more detail here).
  • Convenient: Compact container fits in gym bag or purse.

(95g /3.3 oz)  Purchase here

What Others Are Saying

I just ordered 4 tubes of it, which will last me a while, but I’m so dependent on it that I order 3 and 4 tubes at a time. It was just introduced 2 years ago, but it quickly become one of my favorite products.  Until you use it, it’s hard to appreciate the difference between it and any other athletic cream. I’ve used them all for joint and muscle pain. But none compare to Watkins Warming Balm.  It’s like having a heating pad on whatever part of the body you use it on.  It’s starts heating up in minutes and the heat will last for about 20 to 30 minutes.  You then forget about it but once you start working and perspiring just a little bit, it starts heating up all over again.**
 Greg Whitley, Manager, J.R. Watkins

**Testimonials are based on personal experiences, and we cannot guarantee these same results for everyone.

Natural Relief for the Weekend Warrior (Special Gift Collection)

Packed in a stylist white box with a classic black logo and bow, this collection is the perfect choice for your athletic friends, family members or co-workers. This set provides soothing relief for whatever muscle aches and pains may ail you. Weekend warriors will receive one of each of the following:

  • Pain Relieving Liniment
  • Pain Relieving Liniment Spray
  • Warming Balm
  • Cooling Gel

Purchase here

August 31, 2012

Salt of the Earth or Devil in a Blue Box?

by notmomscleaners

When I was little, maybe 8 or 9 years old, one day I decided that if my favorite chicken noodle soup tasted good with water, it must taste even better without.  So I heated up the can, sans water, ate about half of it, decided it was disgusting and went off to visit a friend of mine a few blocks away.   On the way to her house, I got so deathly ill that I had to lie down on the sidewalk and put my face on the cool (yes, dirty!) cement.  Of course I threw up.  A lot.  Thus began a minor salt aversion which has lasted my whole life.  While I’m not totally averse to salt, the moment I decide there’s too much salt taste, I just can’t eat whatever the food is.   Based on most of today’s evidence regarding health and salt, I suppose that’s a good thing.  But maybe not.

What is Salt?

Salt, or sodium chloride, is the chemical compound  NaCl.  It occurs widely, and is not only a food source, but a major industrial component as well in the manufacture of paper, fabrics and textiles and soaps and detergents.  It’s a primary electrolyte in our bodies, and, as saline in ocean water, contributes to cloud formation.

Salt for human consumption comes in three forms, unrefined, refined and iodized.

Sea salt, made by evaporating sea water, is an example of an unrefined salt.  Another popular unrefined salt product is fleur de sel, a natural sea salt from the surface of evaporating brine in salt pans, and has a unique flavor varying from region to region.

Refined salts for human consumption can be obtained from sea water or mined, and then further refined for purification and to improve its storage and handling characteristics.

Most table salt sold for consumption contains additives, the most well known one being iodine.  Iodine deficiency affects about two billion people and is the leading preventable cause of mental retardation as well as thyroid gland problems.

All salt, whether unrefined or refined is basically the same chemically and therefore, except for any additives that are contained in it, has the same health benefits or concerns about using it.

Where is Salt?

It’s actually extremely difficult to find a food that doesn’t contain some amount of salt.  So, the short answer that salt is everywhere!  Even in fresh fruits and vegetables, although mostly in small amounts.  But those amounts over the course of a day add up quickly when you factor in the amount of food we eat that isn’t simply “natural” as in fresh fruits and vegetables.

Generally speaking, the more processed a food is, the higher its sodium content.  That may not be totally scientific but it’s a good rule of thumb.   So, canned vegetables for instance,  will contain more sodium than say, their frozen counterparts which, theoretically at least, are more minimally processed.  And their fresh counterparts, even less.

Of course, the obvious salt culprits are chips, deli meats, canned fish, condiments, soups, and fast food generally.

Salt and our Health

Most health practitioners would recommend that one should replace the salt lost during physical activity through perspiration. Too much or too little salt in the diet can lead to muscle cramps, dizziness, or electrolyte disturbance, which can cause neurological problems, or death.  However, controversy rages over the long-term effects of salt consumption.

Currently, recommended salt intake is 1500-2300mg per day for healthy adults.  Those with high blood pressure, certain ethnic groups and others are cautioned to stay at the low end of 1500mg.    This would translate to about 1 to 1 1/2 tsps. of salt per day.

And yet, most researchers in the field will acknowledge that studies substantiating claims that salt is harmful are inconclusive, and point out that the evidence found in these studies suggest that restricting salt can increase the likelihood of dying prematurely.   Evidently eating too little salt sets off a physiological chain of events ending with an increased risk of heart disease.  While studies clearly demonstrate that short-term salt consumption will raise blood pressure, for instance, the real question is what is the effect of that over the long-term and on morbidity.

The scientific question is whether this temporary phenomenon translates to chronic problems: if we eat too much salt for years, does it raise our blood pressure, cause hypertension, then strokes, and then kill us prematurely? It makes sense, but it’s only a hypothesis. The reason scientists do experiments is to find out if hypotheses are true. – Gary Taubes, Salt, We Misjudged You,  NY Times, June 2, 2012

As the low-salt-diet-is-healthier message gains traction among government agencies, medical professionals and the general population, little research is being done on the effects of too little salt, when previous studies all point to the possibility at least, that eating too little salt (salt at the lower recommended range) has serious health consequences as well.


In my opinion, this is another example that eating less processed food is just better for you.  As is watching the sodium content in the processed foods you eat which comprises most of our diets.  Why?  For one reason, and one reason only.

Unless you’re on a medically supervised diet holed up in your bedroom with nurse Krachit,  I think the danger of eating too little salt is not a reality for most people, even those eating healthier diets. And therefore, if  it’s almost impossible to eat too little, you’re either eating just the right amount or too much.  Ergo, watch your salt.

Why do I say this?  Well, for a year or longer, trying to lose some weight, I tracked my food–yes, every morsel I ate– using an online food tracker which had a huge database of every food known to man, from Friendly’s cookies and cream ice cream to fresh spinach, it gave you the actual nutrients of the amount of those foods that you ate.

Now, remember, I’m kind of a salt hater due to my childhood experience.  But almost every single day, no matter how much I stayed within my calorie range, fat range, protein, carbs, etc., I was almost always ABOVE the recommended sodium levels.   I could lose weight, but I couldn’t stay within the sodium guidelines.  It was very discouraging.

Now that I know that, I just read all the labels, and try to find items I use every day with the lowest possible salt content. A recent find for me from Watkins was their soup and gravy bases, which come in at about half the salt levels of other popular canned versions.   This is a dried version which you can use in small amounts with water to add a little broth to your cooking or make gravies at holiday time.  Economical, one tub equals about 25 cans of broth, so it’s good for the environment too.

So what’s your take on the salt thing?  Do you try to avoid it or don’t you worry about it?  If you do avoid it, what are some of the ways you do that?

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August 14, 2012

Welcome to Not Mom’s Cleaners Blog

by notmomscleaners

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the 1st edition of my Not Mom’s Cleaners blog, where I hope to acquaint us all with the latest and greatest about cooking, cleaning, beautifying ourselves and whatever with regard to Watkins’ products and all or nearly all-natural solutions generally.

Why All Natural?

Some people will not be convinced that there must be something in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil in which our food is grown, how processed our food supply is and the products that get transmitted into our bodies through our skin that is making our environments toxic.

If you’re one of those people, this blog is not for you and you can, of course, unsubscribe.  I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything.

In fact, I would never call myself a zealot on the issue.  However, given the choice, and all things being equal, or nearly so, why not choose products that could be safer for you and your family over ones that are not.  That’s all.  The question for me isn’t why all natural, but why not?

Why Watkins?

Well, as I’ve stated before, but for those who missed it, I searched long and hard to find a company I could represent and be happy with.

  • They had to be US-based, and if a manufacturer, manufacturing in the US.  Check.
  • The products had to be safe and/or natural and documented to be so.  Check.
  • They had to be products that people actually need to use in their daily lives.
  • They had to be competitively priced with stores that people actually shop at and have documentation about it.  Check.
  • I had to like buying and using the products.  Check.  (Of course I don’t love every single one, but honestly, it’s not because I don’t feel the quality is there; it’s just a matter of preference or need.)
  • Low entry fee to do business for myself and for anyone else who might be interested in starting a business. Check.
  • A topic I like to write about.  Check.  Who doesn’t want to talk about food and body care?
  • Shoes.  Okay, so no check here.  I’m trying to get them to sell shoes, but they just ain’t buyin’ it….

What’s Next?

Salt.  What is the deal with it?  Good for you or bad for you?  How much is too much?  I’ll let you know what I find out and hope to hear what you do about it.

..’til next time….

March 12, 2012

Entrepreneurship and Direct Sales

by notmomscleaners

For many people, direct sales is the perfect blend of risk and reward.  Indeed, it provides all the benefits of having your own business with a lot of the support you might be accustomed to in your day job.

For starters, there’s the low entry cost.  From $0 to just a few hundred bucks, there’s a sign-up commitment to fit any budget.  And there are many companies with long track records of success, so the risk of any of the top direct sales companies not being around is about the same as if you hired on as the newest employee at XYZ Corp.

Direct sales is simply a distribution method employed by manufacturers to get their products in the hands of customers.  They can retail products, wholesale products, or sell them directly.  A lot of companies do a little bit of all of it.

Direct sales removes the costs to the manufacturer of storefronts, retail employees, rents, insurance, inventory, etc., and passes on those savings in the form of commissions to its direct sales force.

Because there’s no institutionalized means of hiring sales people, precisely because there are no storefronts or territories per se, they reward their sales people  for “hiring” more sales people by giving them commissions on their sales as well.  This is how expansion takes place in the direct sales environment.

While I’m sure the top executives get paid well, it’s one of the few business categories where the money goes to the people who sell the product and find others to do the same, not the people who manage them or the business.   Even if it’s not in the form of direct commissions, organizations spend a bundle on training and support.  That’s it.  There is nothing sinister, illegal or immoral about direct sales.