Summer is right around the corner and who says you can’t eat deliciously satisfying food while still staying on track of your health goals. Well, you most definitely can with this Spring Eating Clean Salad. It’s light refreshing and doesn’t require you being in the kitchen all day. And it makes a great side to bring to all those memorial day parties and barbecues.
Whether it’s for the planet, for the animals or for you…going vegetarian can have a ton of health benefits including weight loss, lower cholesterol, blood pressure and decreased chance of heart disease. Check out some of our favorite meat-less favorites if you decide to ditch the meat.
Tofu ½ cup = 13 grams protein
Tofu is made by soaking, crushing, and cooking soybeans into a slurry, then adding a coagulant — usually calcium sulfate or calcium chloride and gluconolactone. This heart-healthy vegetable protein is not only a great alternative to eggs, dairy and meat, but also shines when grilled or sautéed. We suggest keeping your soy intake to once a week max and always choose organic.
Hemp Seeds 2 tbsp = 10 grams protein
Hemp seeds pack a nutritious punch with a rich nutty flavor and tender crunch. So easy to use, you can eat them straight out of the package or sprinkle on anything – salad, cereal or yogurt, etc. Don’t be fooled by their small size, hemp seeds boast 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of omegas per 30 gram serving.
Quinoa 1 cup = 8 grams of protein
Known as the “mother grain,” quinoa has been consumed for thousands of years and is one of the most potent sources of grain protein. Naturally gluten-free, this fiber full versatile grain works great as a side dish or main course. Quinoa is also a complete protein, meaning it provides all nine essential amino acids necessary for good health.
Nut Butters 2 tbsp = 7 grams protein
Are you nuts like us for nut butters? Cashew, almond, peanut, sunflower — who can choose when they are all this delicious? They are full of healthful fats that benefit heart health, reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Beans ½ cup = 7 grams
Beans are a classic staple in any vegetarian’s diet. They are full of protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, potassium, and are low in fat. Besides getting a bad rap for making you gassy, they are incredible easy on the wallet compared to buying a steak. Plus, research shows that a diet including beans may reduce your risk of heart disease.
Start your day with free-radical fighting antioxidants by sipping on this Blueberry Bliss Smoothie. Easy to make and perfect for a quick on the go breakfast or post workout drink. Did we mention it tastes delicious too!
Organic protein continues to gain popularity across the country. Every day, more people are switching to the most natural version of protein products for several good reasons.
First, protein products are one of the best examples of how the organic version can be much better than the conventional, non-organic ones. Organic protein, particularly whey protein, is by far the best form of protein powder you can possibly buy and consume as these products are hormone-free. Non-organic foods are often made from milk from cows that are given hormones to help boost milk production. However, these hormones stay present in the milk and its products, eventually ending in the consumers’ system. Organic whey protein comes from cows which are fed organically pesticide-free grown feed and never treated with hormones.
Additionally, a lot of organic protein products come from vegetarian sources and are perhaps the most natural form available. Vegan products are not only great sources of protein but also ensure that you are getting a product from a company/brand that uses ingredients with zero exposure to pesticides and toxins, as well as helping to promote sustainable and ecologically-friendly agricultural practices.
If that’s not enough reasons to choose organic protein, here’s another one. Some of the dairy non-organic protein products are made with milk from cows treated with antibiotics. This is also important because antibiotics can be passed through milk into individuals. This is especially dangerous if a person has an antibiotic allergy which could be potentially deadly. Organic certified protein comes from cows which are not treated with unnecessary antibiotics.
Click here to check out LuckyVitamin.com exclusive selection of organic protein products.
Okay, we say “protein powder” and you think of a smoothie, shake or blender bottle. Did you know you can make amazing desserts, breads and baked goods with your protein powder? Why YES you can. Check out some of our favorite recipes below:
Easy, fast and HEALTHY. Now that’s what we are talking about. These brownies are oh so good and only leave you with two dishes to wash. Did we mention you make them in the blender…this is a whole new level of easy baking!
Following a Paleo lifestyle can be an exceptional way to maintain a lean, powerful physique that’s ready for action, and avoid or lessen the occurrence of many modern-day ailments that are not associated with our early human ancestors’ lives. The Paleo lifestyle presumes that the human genome is most well-adapted for the hunter-gatherer life practiced for millions of years—rather than for the changes brought on by farming and the fairly recent Industrial Revolution of only about 200 years ago. In short, optimize wellness and longevity by living in a way similar to Paleolithic man.
The basic Paleo diet consists of whole foods – vegetables, fruits, nuts, and lean meats – and generally avoids any type of food that grows underground, dairy, grains, legumes and processed foods. Paleo-based fitness incorporates natural and functional movements plus intense bursts of activity. Compare our ancestors’ lives of hunting, gathering, running, and surviving vs. modern man’s life of smart phones, cubicles, and rigid gym equipment. The Paleo lifestyle lies therein as a decision to eat and move as naturally as possible in the modern world.
A Few Fitness Regimes Well-Suited for a Paleo Lifestyle:
Running – Dates back to persistence hunting when ancient man needed to run for hundreds of miles while tracking prey
Dancing – Prehistoric humans recorded dance in their cave-paintings as an important element of their rituals, entertainment, and celebrations
Movement Culture – Free-flowing movement, timing, & mindfulness training to better understand the body, health, and physical artistic expression
Functional Fitness – Training focused on the body’s interconnectedness of parts through movements such as squatting and pushing
CrossFit – Strength training & body conditioning focused on functional movements like lifting and pulling
We reached out to Primal Kitchen, one of LuckyVitamin’s best-selling Paleo brands, to ask a few questions about the Paleo lifestyle and fitness. Daniel Rinck, Digital Content Strategist & Publisher for Primal Nutrition, Inc. (makers of Primal Kitchen) helps us further understand…
LV: What types of fitness regimes will benefit from eating Paleo?
Daniel: “Once you become fat adapted like our ancestors, there’s typically no fitness regime that couldn’t benefit from a Paleo eating plan. Sure, there are examples of endurance athletes who swear that in order to fuel a race you’d need to take on loads more carbs than the Paleo/Primal eating plan recommends. But there’s an evolving perspective on that front. Mark Sisson, a former top endurance athlete, just wrote a book called Primal Endurance, which discusses how endurance athletes can benefit from a primal/ancestral eating plan and training regimen.”
LV: Is a Paleo diet sustainable for those who are already very lean and active?
Daniel: “Yes. In fact, it’s something that, when practiced well, maintains lean body mass and encourages healthy physical activity (because it fuels your body with the nutrients our bodies have evolved to expect).”
LV: Can a person benefit from eating Paleo without a full commitment? It sounds pretty hardcore.
Daniel: “Absolutely. The more whole, natural, non-processed foods that you get into your diet, the better—even if it’s part time. The same goes for Paleo/Primal lifestyle practices, like intense bursts of physical activity, finding more time for leisure activity, cutting out screen time, etc.”
The Paleo diet has been making some noise lately but some people are still unfamiliar with this trendy diet. Lucky Vitamin is helping out with a Paleo Diet 101, a quick beginner’s guide to this natural food diet.
What is Paleo Diet?
Paleo is a diet based on eating natural, non-processed foods. The idea of this diet is to eat food like we ate thousands of years ago, fresh from the nature with no additives, and no processing. The Paleo diet contains mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs and nuts and does not include ingredients such as grains, sugars, preservatives, and other non-natural ingredients.
What is on the menu of the Paleo Diet?
Vegetables are all in. Fish such as salmon, bass, tilapia, herring are also part of the diet. Green light for seafood and eggs. Only lean meats are in the Paleo including beef, veal, and chicken. Plus some fruits, particularly the less sugary fruits such as berries. Legumes are not Paleo. Most nuts are also acceptable but peanuts are not. No grains, no dairy, and definitely no processed foods. Look up “foods allowed on the paleo diet” to ensure you are eating it correctly.
What are the benefits of the Paleo Diet?
Paleo diet is great for losing fat as it changes your body from primarily burning carbs to basically just burning fat. The human body preferred source of energy is fats, a slow burning and more efficient fuel for your body to use. Since we consume a lot of carbohydrates, our bodies tend to burn carbohydrates rather than fat, consequently storing these fats aside causing people to gain weight over time. The paleo diet alter this process by removing a lot of the simple carbohydrates from your diet and, as a result, your body can no longer use carbs for energy producing and is forced to use and burn fat stores.
Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is known to heal multiple ailments and improve overall health and vitality. Western medicine and research is recognizing turmeric for its ability to fight cancer. The compound in turmeric known as curcumin has been found to be the active ingredient which has a very string antioxidant effect.
Adding a smoothing to your regimen is an easy way to get more greens and superfoods into your diet. Try this smoothie for breakfast and spice up your life with some turmeric!
With new superfoods and alternative health products popping up in the media everyday, it’s hard to know how to shop for the cleanest, most effective product innovations. Dr. Jeremy Wolf N.D., Lead Wellness Advisor at LuckyVitamin.com, breaks down the trends and how to be a savvy wellness shopper this spring.
A new “superfood” that has been really starting to makes its way into the spotlight is Moringa oleifera. The Moringa tree is native to South Asia and moringa products are popping up all over the health and wellness industry. It can be found as a supplement, tea, oil, body butter, and even in shampoos. One of the main reasons that this product is becoming so popular is because moringa has a very rich nutrient profile, is loaded with antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties and may even help with other health concerns. Some great sources of Moringa include Organic India, Moringa Revealed, and Moringa Source.
Activated Charcoal has long been used by hospitals around the world as a safe and effective treatment for poisoning and drug overdoses. But this ingredient is now making its way to the beauty realm, from facemasks to shampoos, toothpowders, and even deodorants. Activated charcoal is coal, which has been heated to increase its adsorptive power. Adsorption is the processes at which molecules bind to a surface and is different from absorption. Activated charcoal is great at trapping chemicals, absorbs dirt and oil, and even absorbs 1000 X its own weight in moisture. Some great sources of activated charcoal beauty products include Piperwai natural deodorant, Sponge Konjac Facial Sponge, Level Naturals and Collective Wellbeing.
NEW USES FOR AVOCADOS
When it comes to fruits with health benefits, Avocados seem to be at the top of the list. That’s right Avocado is a fruit. One of the reasons this fruit is becoming so popular is because this fruit is packed full of fiber and vitamins such as Vitamin B6, B5, C, E and potassium. But one of the most talked about benefits is the fact that it provides the body with “good” fats. To be exact avocados are full of Monounsaturated Fats. These fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood, which can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. One great example of new and interesting uses for avocado, is Avocado oil. Brands are now using avocado oil to make all sorts of products including; Cooking Oil, Avocado Mayonnaise, Avocado Kettle Chips and you can even find avocado oil in personal care products.
PLANT-BASED PROTEIN POWDERS
Protein powders are in no way new, but this market continues to expand. What was once advertised mostly to body builders looking to get “jacked” is now being marketed to tri-athletes, marathon runners, weekend warriors, vegans, moms, yoga enthusiasts and even business people constantly on the go. One of the biggest trends in the protein market stems from the source for the protein powder. Plant based formulas are one of the hottest trends right now. These are often hypoallergenic formulas free of common food irritants making them easier on the stomach. They contain a blend of specific foods such as pea, quinoa, artichokes, hemp, amaranth, rice and more. Because of this blend, they contain an excellent variety of amino acids while also delivering a respectable amount of protein. Other new sources for protein include chicken, pumpkin, and even cricket.
FERMENTED PRODUCTS FOR GUT HEALTH
You may have heard of fermentation, but have never associated with the supplement industry. Fermentation is the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts or other microorganisms. Fermented foods like Natto, Kimchi, Sauerkraut and other pickled vegetables are themselves becoming popular, but now nutrition companies are using fermented whole foods in their products. It is believed that the fermentation process helps to pre-digest complex foods, helping to increase the absorption of the nutrients. Fermented foods also contain Probiotics, the good bacteria that populate our bodies. Some great sources of fermented products include SoTru, Get Real Nutrition, Mother In Law’s Kimchi, and Kombucha kits and drinks.
Jackfruit is the largest tree-born fruit in the world and is starting to be referred to as a “Miracle Fruit.” This fruit is full of dietary fiber, is cholesterol free and is packed with vitamins and minerals. Although not very popular in the United States, yet, this fruit is becoming more and more popular amongst the vegan and vegetarian community. There are many ways one can prepare Jackfruit, however Upton’s Naturals has created a Jackfruit Bar-B-Que as a delicious meat alternative. This meat alternative is great to use for sandwiches, salads, wraps, and over rice.
Wellness bloggers and celebrities chefs have been talking about this trend for a little while now, and its popularity continues to grow. Bone Broth also known as stock is made by boiling bones from the animal of your choice (commonly turkey, chicken, beef) with vegetables and spices. Part of the reason it’s becoming so popular is because bone broth is easy to make, relatively inexpensive and is packed with vitamins, minerals, and proteins and has many health benefits. Some of the benefits may include promoting strong bones, reducing joint pain and inflammation, inhibiting infection and helps to seal your gut and promote healthy digestion. While its best to try and make your own bone broth, Pacific Natural Foods and Osteobroth are great sources of convenient already made broths.
MATCHA Matcha is a type of green tea grown in the shade, and once harvested, the leaves are made into a fine powder. One of the reasons for its growing popularity is because Matcha is rich in catechins a subclass of polyphenols or antioxidants. In fact one study found that Matcha is at least 3 times higher in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a specific catechin, than regular green tea. EGCG benefits may include boosting metabolism and slowing the growth of cancer cells. Another reason that matcha is trending upward is because it also contains caffeine, similar to the amount contained in a cup of brewed coffee. Buy it in bulk, or try it in a latte, bar, or even moisturizer.
NOOTROPICS (Brain Supplements)
With movies like Limitless and Lucy focusing on human’s ability to unlock the full potential of our brains, brain support supplements also known nootropics are all the rage right now. Vitamins, minerals, and other herbs may not unlock some hidden region of our brain, but they may promote brain health, improve focus and concentration, reduce risks of Alzheimer’s and other brain-associated conditions. Supplements like Vitamin D, Omega 3’s, Gingko Biloba, Gotu Kola, Phosphatidylserine and Acetyl L Carniitine are great sources of nutrients necessary for brain health.
LABEL AND QUALITY AWARENESS
One of the biggest trends for 2016 might not be an ingredient. Consumers are becoming more knowledgeable and doing more research on what they are consuming and putting into as well as on their bodies. This is why one of the biggest trends is quality in manufacturing. Customers are looking for hypoallergenic, all natural, vegan, kosher, non-GMO, products from certified organic B-Corporations. As well, they are making sure their products are free of potentially harmful chemicals and ingredients. Brands are constantly evolving to fit these demands, and LuckyVitamin offers easy navigation to help you find the products that meet your personal standards and preferences.
LuckyVitamin is a leading online retailer of health and wellness, natural products, vitamins, herbal supplements, sports nutrition, natural and organic foods, beauty and skincare. Striving to bring good health to the masses, LuckyVitamin.com offers premium quality products at an exceptional value. LuckyVitamin is dedicated to empowering people to live healthier lives, as a supportive source for thousands of brand name wellness products at the most competitive prices online. Learn more and shop online at www.luckyvitamin.com.
To juice or to blend…that is the question. And the answer is, well…it depends. Read on for more about the key differences between smoothies and green juice.
Blending combines everything. Nothing is removed. With juicing you’re separating the juice from the pulp, and for anyone who has ever juiced, you know all about that mountain of leftover pulp. Still, there are multiple uses for all that pulp, such as adding it to your compost pile or an ingredient in baked goods. Plus, you furry friends will love it too!
There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber keeps your GI tract in top shape and it slows down the absorption of sugar. However, it slows down the rate in which your body absorbs nutrients. With juicing the soluble fiber remains which can act as a prebiotic but removes insoluble fiber aka the pulp to give your body a jolt of nutrients.
With juicing the nutrients are quickly absorbed, resulting in a quick release of all things healthy into your body and blood stream. Juicing extracts up to 70% of the nutritional goodness right into your glass and your body absorbs 100%. On the flip side, blending gives you a sustained release of nutrients throughout the day.
It’s way easier to consume a massive amount of fruits and vegetable when you’re juicing, but if you’re trying to use all organic produce, that can take a toll on your wallet. Blending a smoothie may not help you get all your servings of fruits and veggies, but at least you can blend a banana and our favorite, avocado.
Now that you have the facts, think about what your health goals are. Trying to get more fruits and veggie in your diet? Then juicing might be more for you. Is losing weight one of your goals? A smoothie will curb your appetite and make you feel full longer. In the end, you really can’t go wrong with either of these tasty additions to your health regimen.
On any given day at LuckyVitamin, you’re bound to walk into the lunch room to find someone using the blender to make a smoothie. It’s one of our favorite things to make and for good reason. Smoothies are a great way to pack a lot of nutrition in a small space, and there are so many ways to make it delicious depending on what you like.
I don’t know about you, but during the winter, the craving for cold smoothies noticeably decreases. Now that we’re heading towards the summer (yay!), that smoothie craving is starting to come back. So, we decided to take a short work break to make a jammed-pack smoothie with a ton of delicious ingredients. The avocado adds smoothness, the beet and berries adds beautiful color and the ginger makes the flavor pop. Not to mention all the little add-ins that bump up the smoothie (and health) benefits – chia seeds, hemp seeds and turmeric.
If you’re in the mood for a refreshing smoothie, give it a try!
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1 medium banana
1 handful baby spinach
1 medium beet, peeled
1/2 cup frozen or fresh berries (can be a mix or just one type)
So many omnivores want to eat less meat as a way to benefit their health, the planet, and the well-being of animals, yet they struggle with the concept of “going vegetarian”. The mere thought of “not being able” to eat meat again can be a major roadblock, not to mention – a major bummer.
A Different Way to Think About Vegetarianism
You know, you can simply decide to try more plant-based options and forgo the meat more often than you do now. It can be that simple. There’s no need to make a lifelong commitment or take on the label of “Vegetarian”. You can just go into discovery mode and find new alternatives. Who knows? Maybe later on you’ll decide to go for an official title.
Pescetarians are vegetarians who also eat fish
Lacto-ovo-vegetarians eat dairy and eggs
Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy but not eggs
Flexitarians (or Semi-Vegetarians) eat meat on occasion
Replace 1 Meat with 1 New-to-You Plant-Based Dish
By deciding to replace 1 single serving of meat with a plant-based option, you are not only aspiring to be more healthy and eco/animal-friendly, you are succeeding! Studies show the environmental impact of not eating just 1 hamburger is equal to that of not driving 320 miles. So this one decision does have an effect.
And, this is where it begins to get interesting too, because instead of the boring string beans you’ve never really enjoyed, you’re discovering something (hopefully) delicious that you can really sink your teeth into and enjoy again and again. Nothing you love is taken away (forever) and yet something else gets added in. Win win.
A great way to try this approach is to go to a restaurant featuring plant-friendly cuisine like Vietnamese, Indian, Chinese, or Japanese. Choose someplace where you don’t already have a favorite meat-based dish. Remember, the goal is to try something new, not to tempt yourself into failure! Repeat this meat-replacement-new-dish-discovery method as often as you like, at your own pace. Take note of the dishes you enjoy and then try making them at home.