February is Heart Month, so take care of your ticker with this warm and satisfying oatmeal. Oatmeal is an amazingly healthy breakfast option especially during these cold winter months. Research has shown a specific type of phenolic compound, present only in oats, may possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-itch and anti-cancer properties. It also suggests that oats may play a vital role in protecting the heart. Oats are known for being a great source of fiber so by adding apples in the equation means even more wholesome goodness.
Oolong tea, also known as Wulong, is a traditional Chinese tea with an earthy, full-body flavor and fruity aroma. Oolong is a slightly fermented black and green tea hybrid that boasts some significant health benefits, including weight loss and heart health. What are you waiting for? Get to sipping!
Antioxidant – The fighters of free radicals and enemies of heart disease and cancer, antioxidants are abundant in this tea! Antioxidants also help maintain a youthful appearance and complexion!
Weight loss – Research shows the caffeine combined with the EGCGs in oolong tea can help increase fat oxidation. Translation: it can help you shed some of those extra pounds.
Mental Well Being – Oolong contains the amino acid L-theanine, a powerful stress and anxiety reliever that can improve focus and mental clarity.
Dental Health – A study at Osaka University in Japan discovered that consuming oolong tea on a regular basis prevented the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth, dental plaque, cavities and tooth decay.
Cholesterol – Oolong tea can help in lowering your high levels of LDL cholesterol due to its high content of antioxidants.
Inflammation – A 2014 study found that the polyphenols in oolong tea reduce visceral fat and inflammation in mice fed high-fat, high-sucrose obesogenic diets.
Bone Density – Good news for those who don’t or can’t enjoy dairy but still worry about osteoporosis. Oolong contains calcium and magnesium in its leaves which can protect your bones and make you less likely to lose bone mineral density.
Controls Diabetes – You may notice decreased blood sugar levels from sipping on oolong. The high levels of antioxidants work wonders on sugar metabolism.
Anti-Cancer –The polyphenols present in the tea prevent the formation of N-nitroso compounds, by trapping toxins before they become carcinogenic cells.
Energy Booster – The caffeine in oolong can give a much needed boost of energy. Enjoy a cup in the afternoon to ward off cravings and prevent energy slumps.
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The holidays are coming to an end which means it’s time to start your 2016 goals. For many of us that means thinking about how to shed those pounds we packed on late in the year. Losing weight the healthy way should be based on a combination of exercise and clean eating. As any nutritionist would tell you, adding superfoods to your diet is not only great for your overall health but can help you slim down, too. They are nutritional powerhouses loaded with vitamins, minerals and other good-for-you molecular compounds to help you on your weight loss journey.
Avocado – Healthy fats are all the rage, and with good reason, since the mono unsaturated fatty goodness (MUFAs) keeps you feeling full longer. This special fruit has a proven ability to prevent hunger pains and reduce belly fat. Swap out your EVOO for some avocado oil to decrease abdominal fat.
Almonds – Rich in flavonoids that protect against free radical damage, unsalted, raw almonds are a great stimulant for weight loss when eaten in moderation. Almonds are also a good source of vitamins B and E, so-called “good” fats and fiber which have the dual benefits of staving off sugar cravings and helping you feel satiated.
Garbanzo Beans – Garbanzo Beans, also known as chickpeas, may be tiny, but they pack a big protein punch. This delicious, edible legume contains more than two grams of resistant starch per half-cup serving, as well as fiber.
Oats – A carb that can help you lose weight? Yes! A study in Nutrition Journal found those who ate oats every morning for six weeks had a greater decrease in waist size compared to those who ate the same amount of carbs in pasta for the same duration. So you can have your carbs and eat them too!
Green Tea –Research has shown that the plant compound EGCG found in green tea boosts your metabolism by increasing thermogenesis by 84 percent. Here’s why: green tea contains molecular compounds called catechins which triggers the release of fat from cells, blasts adipose tissue and speeds up the liver’s ability to convert fat into energy. Now get drinking!
We’ve discussed how bringing a healthy side or dessert to holiday parties can help you stay on track. Bring these yummy cookies in a festive holiday tin. They are vegan and taste just as good (if not better) than store bought ones. The recipe yields about 20 cookies. They’ll last about a week in an air-tight container.
The holidays are here again, which means that your health goals that you’ve been dutifully sticking to all year are now in some serious peril if you’re not careful. Here are a few tips to stay focused while still partaking in some old fashioned holiday cheer.
Make Your Goals and write them down – Although it may sound antiquated in today’s world of smart phones and gadgets, but simply putting pen to paper and jotting down your goals helps make them seem more “real”. A recent study at the Dominican University of California found that people who jot down their goals beforehand are 42% more likely to achieve them.
Bring a healthy side/dessert to a party – Ease the temptation at holiday parties by bringing a healthy side dish or dessert with you. Any hostess will appreciate the gesture and it will serve as another reminder of your healthy objectives.
Try a New Indoor Activity – Break the workout rut and give yourself an activity to get excited about. Try cross fit or sign up for that yoga class you’ve been meaning to since this time last year. Now is the time of year when many studios and gyms will offer first-timer discounts so there’s really no better time to tackle some fun, new activities.
Stay Hydrated – Curb hunger and minimize that hangover by drinking plenty of water at your next soiree. Even better: plan ahead by drinking a full glass of water prior to a meal to help prevent overeating.
Everything in moderation – Avoid holiday weight gain by practicing moderation. Try not to focus on what you “can’t have” and utilize strategies, such as eating on smaller plates and portion control, to help keep yourself on course.
Watch LuckyVitamin’s Ask The ND series featuring Dr. Jeremy Wolf for healthy information, benefits and facts about popular nutritional supplements and wellness topics. These quick guides are great educational resources to learn about a variety of wellness-oriented topics from a trained Naturopathic Physician. View other videos from LuckyVitamin on our YouTube channel.
Rustic and warming are two combos you gotta love for winter recipes. This month at LuckyVitamin we are honoring the mighty mushroom. They have been used for centuries to fight off the flu and keep colds at bay. Head straight for your kitchen and get ready to enjoy this comforting, hearty dish and make room for the shroom!
This vegetarian, immunity boosting meal is perfect if you’re gluten-free or just trying to avoid carbs. Spaghetti squash is a great low-cal replacement for pasta and, as a bonus, is high in fiber that helps keep you feeling fuller, longer. The free-radical fighting, mineral-rich mushrooms provide a great source of selenium. Garlic is a natural immune booster with antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. Finally, parsley contains high amounts of vitamin C and B12 to help strengthen the immune system.
1 medium sized spaghetti squash
1 cup of sliced white button mushrooms
1 cups of sliced baby portabella mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp thyme
¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the squash length-wise and spoon out the seeds.
Place squash flesh side down on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes.
While the squash is baking, heat oil in a skillet. Add garlic and thyme and cook for one minute. Add mushrooms and cook until soft (8 minutes).
Once squash is done and cooled, use a fork to remove the squash in strands.
Add squash to skillet and combine with mushroom mixture.
I can’t believe the holiday season is just around the corner. Before we know it, we’ll be dusting off the decoration boxes, preparing our shopping lists, wrapping gifts and spending time with family, friends and loved ones.
The stretch from Halloween to New Year’s is a difficult one. It offers a lot of temptations when it comes to eating and drinking. Even the most disciplined individuals can struggle to stay on track. There seems to be a stigma that it’s “ok” to overeat and overindulge throughout the holidays. Remember healthy eating isn’t necessarily about avoidance, it’s ok to enjoy your favorite dish, snack or dessert but moderation is the name of the game. And be mindful! This busy time of year can also lead to a significant decrease in our physical activity levels. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some tips on how to have a healthy holiday season.
Tips For Healthy Eating
Know your numbers! In order to maintain a healthy weight you need a balance between the amount of calories you consume and the amount of energy/calories you burn off.
When you arrive at a holiday party, check out all the options for food and make a plan on what you are going to enjoy.
Eat mindfully. Use all your senses and be in the moment. Pay attention to the food you’re eating. Minimizing distractions allows us to notice our body’s cues like satiety, and may help to reduce overeating.
Try wearing tighter fitting clothes to keep you more mindful of how your stomach is feeling.
Don’t skip meals. Individuals who skip meals to save calories for a larger dinner are more likely to overeat.
Offer to bring a healthy dish to the holiday party or dinner.
Cut back on unnecessary calories such as gravy, butter, cheese, sauces, whip cream and other toppings.
Alcoholic beverages like wine, eggnog and beer are full of calories. Reduce the number of alcoholic beverages you drink by switching between alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks.
Bring your own plate. This may sound strange but there are many dishes on the market right now that can help you control your portion size and prevent overeating.
Try eating off a different color plate then your food. Research has shown that the high contrast between food and the color of the plate used causes individuals to put less food on their plates.
Health Consequences Of Overeating
Simple sugars found in sodas, candies, cookies and other processed treats can do harm to our body. An example of this is the link between sugar and the immune system. The immunosuppressant effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours.
Even short term overeating can have lasting effects. Research has shown that short term overeating (such as a 4-week period) coupled with a decrease in physical activity can lead to an increase in body weight as well as fat mass that lasts long after the short binge.
Long term overeating can lead to heart disease, diabetes and other chronic effects.
Short term effects of overeating may include nausea, feeling winded, bloated or gassy, drowsiness or heaviness in your stomach. Lastly, because overeating pushes blood toward the digestive tract, your heart may have to work harder.
What To Do If Your Plans Fail
We all know exercise is important to maintaining health, but did you know that it may also help after you have overeaten. One research article found that 15 minutes of walking about a half hour after a meal may help to control blood sugar levels. To really see the benefits of walking, one must do this after every meal. Another study found that a brisk walk for 30 minutes right after a meal was more effective for weight loss than waiting one hour after eating. Make sure you’re comfortable and aren’t experiencing any discomfort from overeating before you go out for a walk.
So you read this “How To” and had a whole plan on how to prevent overeating. You scoped out the party, ate foods in the right proportion and tried to eat mindfully, but something with your plan went awry and now you have overeaten. Well that’s ok, in fact I wouldn’t worry. No, really, don’t worry. Researchers out of Canterbury have found that individuals that feel guilty after overeating are more likely to gain weight than those who don’t feel guilty. So for one night, if you eat a little more then you intended, don’t fret! Every day is a fresh start!
Tis the season for…weight gain? It’s no secret that this time of year brings out the most delicious food with the most dreadful nutritional content. If you’re trying to stave off the seemingly inevitable consumption of excessive calories, it’s time to reevaluate what you’re eating. Bump up the nutrition and lower the calories this season with these 5 healthy swaps that will still make you look forward to your holiday meals!
1.Swap Candied Yams For Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Instead of having a serving (or two) of candied yams, offer to bring a healthier alternative. Roasted sweet potatoes with a little salt, pepper and olive oil is only around 100 calories per serving and you’ll also get the healthy vitamins and nutrients from the potatoes. Want to add a little sweetness? Sprinkle some cinnamon on them!
2. Swap The Casserole For Fresh Green Beans. The casserole may be delicious, but it has a high amount of fat and calories. Skip the cream of mushroom soup and French-fried onions and have fresh green beans instead. Roast them with a little olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and you won’t even think about what you’re missing. Yes, they’re that good.
3. Swap Eggnog For Apple Cider. Just one glass of eggnog can have up to 250 calories and a lot of saturated fat. By having apple cider, you will have instantly saved 100 or more calories and all the fat. Eggnog is definitely a seasonal favorite, so if you’re going to indulge, think moderation!
4. Swap Chocolate Chip Cookies For Meringues. Opt for a lighter sweet treat after a big meal with meringues. They don’t have to be boring. Try this recipe (my personal favorite) – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. With an electric mixer, beat 2 large room temperature egg whites until foamy. Add 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar and beat until fluffy. Add 2/3 cup of granulated sugar gradually (about 3 tablespoons at a time). Then add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract when half of the sugar has been added. Continue beating and adding remaining sugar until it is all dissolved. Fold in 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips and then put a teaspoonful of meringue onto baking sheets, leaving 1-inch of space between. Place baking sheets in the preheated oven and turn the oven off. Leave the cookies undisturbed overnight!
5. Swap Alcohol For Spritzers. Did you know a full glass of wine can add on an extra 120 calories to your meal? Cut that number almost in half by replacing 2 oz of a 5 oz pour with club soda. You’ll still be festive, but with a lot less calories!
Hair coloring is supremely popular, especially for women. A study done by Clairol in 2008 revealed that 75% of American women dye their hair and that 88% of women feel their hair has an effect on their confidence. Although this study was done a number of years ago, just imagine what those numbers must be like now. Four years ago I started coloring my hair…well bleaching it to be exact. Three years of that was enough to do some serious damage to my hair. Now it’s been almost a year without coloring and the process of growing out the overprocessed, unhealthy leftovers is still underway. The only way it will ever be permanently gone will be for me to be patient and let it grow until I can cut every last dyed piece off.
This process is what started my research into what makes hair grow. I wanted to know what I could possibly do to grow my hair out as quickly as possible and I was willing to try anything. So I looked around, watched videos, read articles, and experimented. Here’s what I learned over the better part of a year trying to get back naturally healthy hair.
1. Conditioning is Key. Since bleach dries out hair and everyday styling can be harsh, it was really important for me to moisturize and condition my hair. One of my favorite products to use for this is coconut oil. Not only does coconut oil moisturize hair, but it helps strengthen and protect hair as well. To use, melt the coconut oil and massage into hair, leaving on as long as possible as the benefits only increase with time. Shampoo to remove the oil and you’ll instantly feel the benefits!
2. Eat a Healthy Diet. A diet rich in protein, vitamins and minerals is essential to healthy hair growth. Make sure to include foods high in vitamins A, B, C, and E, iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium and even omega-3 fatty acids. Adding in a variety of foods like milk, poultry, eggs, fish, whole grains, spinach, broccoli, carrots, avocado, oranges, and nuts are great to help nourish your hair and scalp. Overall, eating a healthy diet matters. Make sure to feed your body healthy and nutrient foods.
3. Use Natural Hair Care Products. Look for products that are free from parabens, pthalates, preservatives, and SLS as these potentially dangerous chemicals have been associated with negative health impacts. The best thing you can do? Keep them off your hair. There are many great natural shampoos, conditioners, and styling products that work just as well as the standard products!
4. Supplement If You Need To. Trying everything but still not seeing a significant difference? Maybe a supplement can help. I started taking biotin (part of the B-complex vitamins) to help support my healthy hair growth since it’s water soluble (we excrete what we don’t need) and hasn’t been shown to have side effects. Other recommended supplements to support healthy hair growth – vitamins A, C, D, E, and zinc. Don’t forget to talk to your doctor if you’re thinking about starting a new regimen of supplements! Remember, you can’t replace a bad diet with supplements so it’s best to use a combo approach.
Lucky Vitamin is happy to introduce a premium brand of nutritional bars designed especially for pets to our customers: TurboPUP.
TurboPUP is a unique brand that offers a complete line of canine meal bars on the go. The company has crafted nutritional bars made with only all-natural, top-quality ingredients. These compact meal replacements are perfect for your dog wherever you go.
TurboPUP bars provide all the nutrition needed for active dogs as they have been formulated to exceed AAFCO standards for all stages of life for dogs with added vitamins, minerals and omega-3s. Packed with 28 grams of protein, these unique bars are the ideal meal on the go. Each TurboPUP bar has 250 calories and are baked with 93% pure whey protein isolate, a highly digestible form of protein with a complete profile of amino acids. Using isolate is very important for dogs as lactose, which can be problematic for dog’s sensitive stomachs, is filtered out when it is made. Just like humans, dogs are unable to make all the amino acids needed for repairing muscle and tissue but whey protein contain all the essential amino acids needed for this process.
Additionally, TurboPUP is the official dog food of the National Association for Search and Rescue and the company donates 5% of all profits to organizations supporting veteran and canine causes.
They surround us every day and many of us don’t know what they are or where they came from. They lurk in our supermarkets waiting for us to consume them. Genetically modified organisms or “GMOs” as they’re called, are living organisms whose genetic material has been altered in a way that doesn’t occur naturally. But what does that mean? In simpler terms, it means the food has been altered by scientists. For example, apples that are less prone to browning, plants that are genetically altered to be more resistant to insects and plants that contain more nutrients.
More than 60 nations require labeling of genetically modified foods, however the US isn’t one of them. In fact, GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed foods in the United States. GMO ingredients can now be found in foods, baby formulas, beverages, personal care products, supplements and much more.
Benefits to Avoiding GMO Foods
While some scientists and researchers believe GMO crops are safe and may have their own benefits, this might not be the case. Many of the foods engineered for GMOs worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance. As a result, there have been large increases to the number of herbicides applied to GMO crops. The most common herbicide used on genetically modified crops is Glyphosate, which has been labeled as a “probable human carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Several studies have also found that GMO foods can harm the kidneys, liver, heart and other organs, as well as introduce new unanticipated allergies. These crops have also caused problems for farmers, including herbicide-tolerant “superweeds”, compromised soil quality, and crops that have shown an increase in susceptibility to disease.
High-Risk Crops for Being Genetically Modified:
– Sugar Beets
– Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash
Hidden Ingredients That May Contain GMOs:
– Amino Acids
– Vitamin C
– High Fructose Corn Syrup
– Xanthan Gum
– Monosodium Glutamate
Tips to Avoid GMOs:
– Look for foods that are Non-GMO Project verified
– Choose foods that are Certified Organic or “100% Organic” as they cannot include any GMO ingredients
– Know your ingredients and avoid the at-risk foods & ingredients
– Dairy products can be derived from cows injected with GM bovine growth hormone; look for labels with no rBGH, rBST or artificial hormones
– Most frozen fruits and vegetables are non-GMO unless from one of the high-risk crops
– Check packaged foods such as breakfast cereals, chips, baking mixes and protein bars to see if they GMO ingredients
LuckyVitamin makes it easier for you to find non-GMO products! We carry over 3,000 Non-GMO products you can easily search for using our “Specialty” tab. We’re also a proud sponsor of the Non-GMO Project!
Fall is in the air, and that means pumpkin season is here! So whether you’re raw, vegan, gluten-free or just want a healthy post-workout shake, we’ve got something for you. Here are three recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth without sacrificing your healthy eating goals. Oh, how sweet is!
This recipe is my go-to lunch for a busy day! I love having Vega Protein & Greens in the house when I don’t have time to pack a lunch, let alone think. Simply add and blend all the smoothie ingredients together and go. Super simple, right? Rest assured you know you’re going to have a powerful (and delicious) plant-based meal to last throughout your day. Don’t forget the seasonal veggies as a side to add some extra fiber and crunch to your meal. Enjoy!
Finding out you’re gluten-intolerant can be a bit devastating. I’ve seen my mom go through a transition from eating whatever she desired to eating gluten-free. About 10 years ago, my mom was diagnosed with Celiac disease, the autoimmune disorder where eating gluten can “attack” and damage the lining of the small intestine. It can be pretty difficult to hear the news that you can never eat gluten again. But once you stop mourning your gluten-filled food loves, you’ll start to feel better and realize that our culture is becoming better at accommodating a gluten-free lifestyle.
I don’t know about you, but fall is definitely my favorite season. This time of year can be especially difficult when thinking about all the delicious seasonally appropriate desserts that are not gluten-free friendly. The pumpkin and apple recipes are everywhere, but luckily as the awareness around Celiac disease spreads, more and more recipes are finding their gluten-free equivalent. Over the years I’ve tried a lot of not-so-great gluten-free dessert recipes with my mom, but with time, we’ve gotten better at gluten-free baking. Here are two of our favorite recipes to satisfy a gluten-free or even a non-gluten-free sweet tooth in the fall or any time of the year. With recipes as easy as these, just imagine how you could change them up and make them your own! Enjoy!
1/4 cup butter
5 large Granny Smith apples; peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients and stir well. Roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts and place on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. With a fork dipped in sugar (to prevent sticking), press a crisscross design on each cookie. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool slightly before removing from pan.