We go through life day by day almost as if we are on autopilot. We wake up, go to work, come home, cook dinner, go to sleep and do it all over again the next day. Maybe your daily routine changes through out the day but the basis for your day is still the same. All of the stress, worry, anger etc. associated with our daily activities can lead to numerous health-related problems. Anxiety and depression are just two conditions that more and more Americans are starting to unfortunately become familiar with. Just because our days seem more and more worse off by the minute doesn’t mean your anxiety and depression has to as well.
In a recent article researchers found that mindfulness for the treatment of anxiety and depression was as effective as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is one of the most frequently used psychotherapeutic modalities. It has also been used worldwide as a stress reduction technique. But what does it mean to be mindful? Mindfulness is becoming aware to what is happening to us moment by moment. In other words mindfulness is all about being present. In order to practice mindfulness you must pay precise nonjudgmental attention to all of your experiences both physical and mental. This means that instead of rejecting a feeling because it is bad or good you learn to cope with this feeling by not labeling it. Mindfulness teaches us to be present for all of our daily activities instead of being on “autopilot.”
With the craziness that the holidays bring into our already stressful lives try looking into meditation techniques that might help reduce some of the stress this holiday season. Also use mindfulness to enjoy the happy moments and be present for all the joy the holiday season may bring into your life.
Protein powders come in many forms. Just walking down the aisle of your local supplement store and you will find a variety of sources for protein powders. Options such as whey, soy, rice, vegan, egg, pea and more leave consumers feeling confused and hopeless on where to start. When it comes to choosing the right protein powder, what works for one person might not work for you. Choosing the right protein to fit your needs and your body’s needs is important. For instance, some people require more protein throughout the day. If you are a body builder, you may look for a product that contains more protein. However, if you are a marathon runner you may want a protein powder with more carbohydrates. Some people won’t be able to digest the ingredients of certain formulas and need more hypoallergenic powders. LuckyVitamin carries an assortment of protein powders for any individuals needs. We are going to take a brief look at the different proteins you might find on the shelf.
One form of protein is Whey protein which is derived from dairy. More technically defined, whey protein is the protein contained in whey, the watery portion of milk that separates from the curds when making cheese. It contains a blend of amino acids that stimulates muscle growth. Since this product comes from dairy, if you are allergic to dairy then a whey protein is not for you.
Another form of protein is Soy protein. It is a type of protein that is isolated from the soybean. It is roughly 90-95% protein, it contains amino acids needed for growth, and it is nearly carbohydrate and fat free. This replacement protein can be found in bars, meal replacement shakes, bottled fruit drinks, and other dietary supplements. Soy protein isolate can be purchased as flavored or plain soy protein shake powder. One of the issues with soy protein is that most of the soybeans grown in the US are genetically modified (GM).
Next, you have Rice protein, which most often comes from brown rice. It is an interesting source of protein for those who are on a restricted diet and for vegetarians. Brown rice protein contains all 9 essential amino acids and it has been shown clinically to be effective at building muscle and aiding in muscle recovery. Not all rice proteins are created equally though and you must look for a quality product free of heavy metals and other toxins.
Hypoallergenic formulas are another great source of protein. Hypoallergenic formulas like Plant Fusion feature a vegan based protein powder. The source of the protein comes from pea, amaranth, quinoa, and artichoke. It is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nut free and shellfish free. It contains 21 grams of protein and has a very similar amino acid profile compared to whey. Next time you are shopping for a protein powder consider your individual needs.
Seaweed Bath Company offers a variety of skin care products to naturally help fighting dry, flaking and scaling skin, as well as managing severely irritated skin. With formulas designed with a combination of high-quality, all-natural ingredients, the company hopes to bring the ocean’s bounty into everyday life. Seaweed Bath Company was born from the belief that healthy hydration is the basis of true beauty. From the ocean’s nutrient-rich waters, the company discovered a special ingredient capable to revitalize stressed skin of all types.
Bladderwrack seaweed is an amazing ingredient rich in essential and non-essential amino acids found in your skin. The Seaweed Bath Company sustainably hand-harvests fresh bladderwrack seaweed from cold, mineral-rich waters off the coast of Maine to create the highest quality, all-natural products. Amino acids can help to hydrate dry skin and alleviate flaking, scaling and red skin often associated with certain skin conditions.
Seaweed Bath Company blends certified organic seaweed-based with pure Neem and Hawaiian Kukui oils for vitamin E and essential fatty acids, from oleic to linoleic and linolenic, plus natural anti-bacterial and emollient protection. For generations, cultures around the world have used the power of seaweed to help soothe irritated, flaking and scaling skin. Today, seaweed-based bath products are an integral part of both Thalassotherapy and Balneotherapy–holistic water-based therapies that help manage the skin conditions associated with psoriasis and eczema.
You can save even more when you shop Seaweed Bath Company products at LuckyVitamin.com. Just enter promo code DEC14NEW15 at checkout to save an additional 15% on all items of this new brand. Offer expires 12/31/14.
Let’s face it; the holidays are a time for family, joy, food, and unfortunately the ever-present unwanted stress. A new year brings new beginnings and new opportunities. Opportunities to start making time for yourself so you get your health back, or at least improve on it. Whether you want to shed a couple pounds, detox, find more energy, or just feel better these simple tips will help you get 2015 off on the right foot.
With cold and flu season quickly approaching I wanted to breakdown one of the most commonly prescribed remedies to help get you back on your feet. No, I am not talking about antibiotics, cough syrups, decongestants, Tylenol or any type of prescription or over the counter drug. I am talking about chicken noodle soup. Moms and grand moms everywhere have long prescribed this hearty broth to help combat colds and flues. How is it though that a soup can make you feel better? Lets breakdown a typical recipe and discuss how each ingredient plays a key role in making you feel better.
Normally when we sit down to eat soup it is boiling hot. Not only do the ingredients of the soup help make you feel better but also the temperature. This burning hot soup actually causes a change in our body temperature. We feel warm inside, maybe even start to sweat a little. This increase in body temperature helps us to fight off the infection. It causes our blood vessels to dilate improving blood flow, which contains our natural defenders. Hot soup can actually help to clear that awful congestion you might be suffering from. A study looking at mucus velocity showed that hot chicken soup, either through aroma or taste was superior in increasing mucosal flow vs. hot or cold water. Besides the temperature the broth of this is also very hydrating for when you most need it.
Allium Sativum and Allium Cepa more commonly known as garlic and onion are two key ingredients found in almost every chicken noodle soup. Besides offering remarkable flavor profiles these vegetables actually have numerous health benefits. Both garlic and onion are anti-viral and anti-microbial, which means they help fight against unwanted pathogens. Onion is also considered a diaphoretic herb, which means it is causes the body to heat up and thus sweat. These are not the only ingredients in your soup that have health benefits though.
Herbs like Thymus vulgaris (Thyme) and Petroselinum crispum parsley are also common added ingredients in chicken noodle soup. Thyme is another one of those herbs that are antimicrobial. Another added benefit of adding thyme to your chicken noodle soup is that it is a relaxing expectorant. Relaxing expectorants are used to help break up mucus so you can get rid of the unwanted congestion. Parsley is rich in vitamins C & A which both play a key role in supporting your immune system. This cold and flue season don’t forget that food is medicine. Try out some different chicken noodle soup recipes using a combination of different ingredients.
1. Absorption: your body absorbs much more of the whole food supplement than a conventional form. Synthetic alternatives to whole foods are known as isolates and your body will only absorb a small percentage of an isolate form of vitamins and minerals and utilize even less.
2. Minimal Processing: manufacturers who grow their own whole food ingredients have control over them and quite often are certified organic farms. Once the ingredients are harvested, supplements should be made as soon as possible as food begins to lose nutrients. Delays in processing can lead to a loss of phytonutrients, and starting manufacturing process immediately is the best way to minimize the loss of vital nutrients within each ingredient.
3. Organic: organic whole food supplements from certified organic sources provide superior nutrition and health benefits. Once unknown to the general public, the differences between organic and conventional foods have become very popular and today most people know the amazing benefits and advantages of organic food over regular products.
4. Nutrient Dense: supplements made from raw, nutrient-dense whole foods are by far the best products for your body. Nutrient-dense whole foods are easier to assimilate, and may have a balancing action for your body systems. Overall nutrition is the foundation for vitality and healing within the body, particularly from nutrient dense, concentrated whole foods such as algae-derived sea minerals, herbs, greens, sprouts, seeds and living pre-probiotics.
5. Naturally Occurring: whole food supplements made from concentrated whole foods contain naturally occurring ingredients like vitamins and minerals which are not isolated. These highly complex structures combine a variety of enzymes, coenzymes, antioxidants, trace elements, activators which work together synergistically to enable this vitamin complex to do its job in your body. Nutrients from within this complex cannot be taken apart or isolated from the whole, and then be expected to do the same job in the body as the whole complex is designed to do.
Did you know you can grow wheatgrass for as little as $1-2 per week? All you need is a few supplies and within a week you will have lush and nutritious wheat grass growing in your home. No green thumb needed. Just follow these easy steps:
1. Buy organic wheat berries.
2. Put half a cup of wheat berries in a quart sized mason jar and fill the jar with water. Make sure the water covers the seeds. Soak the wheat berries for 8-12 hours.
3. Rinse your seeds and repeat step 2.
4. Give the wheat berries one more final rinse before you sow the seeds.
5. Cut small holes in a 10 x 10 foil tray for drainage
6. Fill the tray with moistened organic potting soil
7. Spread a single layer of “seeds” on top of the soil and spray with a water bottle.
8. Cover the tray with plastic wrap, place a plate underneath and place in a sunny window sill.
9. Keep the seeds covered for three days and spray with a water bottle every day. It’s best to use a light mist so the seeds do not move.
10. Harvest when your wheat grass is 6-10 inches high.
If you’ve never had wheatgrass juice before it’s recommended that you start off with a one ounce shot daily for a week, so that your body can acclimate itself. Wheat grass is an amazing superfood valued for its nutritional benefits. Time to drink to health. Bottoms up!
Many people, myself included, have sensitivities to certain ingredients found in body washes, shampoos, deodorants, and laundry detergents. Whether it’s breaking out in a rash, redness, itching, stinging, dry scaly skin we can all react differently to the ingredients found in our daily products. However, you shouldn’t feel limited in what you can use on a daily basis. Lucky Vitamin carries a wide selection of hypoallergenic personal care products.
Laundry detergents are often forgot about when it comes to making sure your personal care products are not the cause of your skin problems. Chemicals, fragrances, and other ingredients found in your detergents are then washed and imprinted onto your clothes. When you wear these clothes directly against your skin this can cause your skin to become irritated. LuckyVitamin carries top rated brands like Earth Friendly and Seventh Generation, which come in a variety of scents, and is gentler on your skin. Worried about the little someone in your life as well? We also carry Attitude, a hypoallergenic laundry detergent to help protect your baby’s soft yet sensitive skin.
Your daily shower or bath routine can also be a burden to your skin. Like your detergents, certain chemicals, artificial scents, and other ingredients contained in your body washes can be detrimental to your skin. When it comes to keeping clean choosing the right body wash for you makes all the difference. LuckyVitamin carries a wide variety of body washes that smell delicious yet wont leave your skin feeling dry and irritated. We even carry a variety of body washes that you can use the next time your baby needs a bath. Lastly don’t forget to check your moisturizer and body lotions. These products go onto your skin to help keep it soft and smooth, but make sure it doesn’t leave you feeling the opposite. With such a large selection of products to choose from on our site, you shouldn’t be stuck using something that isn’t working for you or your skin!
Skout Organic offers a unique selection of great tasting, healthy, organic foods to sustain those who embrace adventure and actively pursue the outdoors. Created and inspired by the Pacific Northwest, one of the best outdoor recreation areas in the world, Skout Organic has developed an entire line of certified organic and gluten-free products made with delicious ingredients, which embody the rugged and energetic spirit of the Oregon region. The company is non-GMO project verified and Certified Kosher. Every product contains only naturally occurring nutrients, with no refined sugar or fillers, and all products are vegan, dairy and soy free.
Skout Organic is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and employs sustainable practices. The company proudly donates a portion of proceeds to select environmental and humanitarian charities. Skout is also proud to have sponsored The Freshwater Trust Portland Triathlon, considered one of the “10 Greenest Races” by Runners World.
Created out of the disappointment with existing energy and nutrition bars filled with high-fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients, Skout Organic wanted a trail bar that was healthy, organic, and all-natural. Skout Organic combines the Pastega Family’s passion for the outdoors and excitement for creating great tasting, healthy foods. The quality of life in the Pacific Northwest is special and it will remain so only by becoming stewards of the land as well as by fostering a growing, responsible and sustainable local economy.
You can save even more when you shop Skout Organic supplements at LuckyVitamin.com. Just enter promo code DEC14NEW15 at checkout to save an additional 15% on all items of this new brand. Offer expires 12/31/14.
1. Moringa: known as the “miracle tree,” moringa is an incredible superfood which contains over 90 trace minerals and can help with weight loss, improve digestive health, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. A single serving of moringa leaves contains 272% of your daily value of vitamin A, 125% of calcium, 71% of iron, 41% of potassium, and 22% of your daily value of vitamin C.
2. Acerola: a great source of vitamin C in the natural form of ascorbic acid, acerola contains as much as 1000 to 4500 milligrams per 100 grams of edible fruit. Also known as Barbados cherry, West Indian cherry and Cerez, acerola has been showing multiple health benefits in studies due to its high antioxidant properties.
3. Camu Camu: a sour, lemon-sized fruit from the Amazonian region, this superfood comes loaded with a variety of phytochemicals, bioflavonoids, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Camu camu is the world’s best source of natural vitamin C as it contains approximately 50 times the amount of vitamin C found in an average orange.
4. Maca Powder: made from a root grown in the Andes Mountains of Peru, Maca powder is high in vitamins and helpful for improving mood and energy. Maca powder is popular in smoothies and shakes, since it is easily mixable and can be used as a replacement for coffee.
5. Mangosteen: Delicious and juicy, mangosteen is a tropical fruit loaded with essential nutrients and rich in dietary fiber as 100 g provides about 13% of daily needs. Mangosteen is high in vitamin C, a moderate source of B vitamins, and contains a very good amount of minerals like copper, manganese and magnesium.
6. Suma Root: used for hundreds of years for its medicinal properties, Suma is known to increase physical strength, energy and stamina. Suma contains germanium, a potent immune system booster, as well as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
7. Pitanga: also known as Suriname cherry, this exotic fruit is packed with vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin B1 and B2, niacin, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. It is also high in antioxidants and can be used a cold remedy in combination with lemongrass.
8. Goji Berries: a little more known than the previous listings, goji berries are high in vitamin A, fiber and iron, as well as amino acids. A staple of Asian cooking, these powerful berries are typically sold dried and can be added to your oatmeal.
9. Cordyceps Sinensis: this parasitic fungus grows on caterpillar larvae native to the high-altitude regions of China, Nepal, and Tibet. Loaded with several anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-lipid properties, cordyceps can actually enhance the functionality of your immune system, improve your stamina and endurance, stabilize your blood sugar metabolism, and increase your aerobic capacity and oxygen utilization.
10. Chia Seeds: perhaps the “most popular” of these unknown superfoods, chia seeds have become one of the top-selling supplements across the country. Ten years ago, few people knew about these seeds packed with fiber, manganese, and calcium. Today, people use it in many ways from adding in soups to salad dressings, as well as an ingredient for smoothies and much more.
The holidays are almost here so why not give the gift of health!
Here’s our guide to natural, healthy and eco-friendly gifts all under $25!
1. Saavy Naturals – Jojoba Handcrafted Soap Plumeria Violet – 8 oz.
Give a gift that will nourish and hydrate dry and cracked winter skin. Savvy Naturals soaps are wonderfully hydrating and aromatic.
2. Pura Botanica – Just Because Soy Jar Candle Sweet Chai – 6.7 oz.
This 100 percent cosmetic-grade soy wax contains an intoxicating blend of exotic, warming spices that evokes the sights and scents of a bustling Indian marketplace. Perfect for tea lovers.
3. Rosebud Perfume Co. – Smith’s Luscious Layers of Lip Balm
This gift set features a trio of delightful, vintage-inspired tins of with full-sized Rosebud Salve, Strawberry Lip Balm and Minted Rose Lip Balm.. Perfect for the green, glam goddess in your life.
4. Way Out Wax – GMO-Free Soy Wax Candle Glass Tumbler Peppermint Snow – 6 oz.
Who doesn’t love a gift that gives back! The glass tumbler is food-grade and reusable. A percentage of Way Out Wax profit is donated to environmental and social causes.
5. Hydro Flask – Stainless Steel Water Bottle Vacuum Insulated Wide Mouth Black Butte – 18 oz.
We love this beverage bottle. The double wall vacuum insulation technology allows Hydro Flasks to keep contents hot and cold!
6. Ekobrew – Reusable K-Cup Coffee Filter for Keurig Single Cup Brewers
It’s eco-friendly but it saves you some green too! Its costs around 15 cents for this greener alternative compared to 70 cents for K-cups. Ekobrew Reusable K-Cups are 100% BPA free!
7. Life-factory – Small Wine Glasses Orange – 11 oz.
Any hostess with the mostess will love these glasses! Great for entertaining and durable enough for everyday use. They’re perfect with wine and pair nicely with juices, natural sodas and water.
8. Sprout-Eease – The Jar Seed Sprouter – 1 qt.
You don’t need a green thumb to sprout your own delicious, nutritious, fresh vegetables year round in your own kitchen.
9. Manduka – Cork Yoga Block Made of sustainable cork
This high quality yoga block sports a firmness that is sorely lacking in traditional foam blocks, allowing you to feel secure while in bridge pose or any other asanas where you need a little extra support.
10. SPRI – High Density Foam Roller 12″
A powerful tool for your fitness fanatics, a foam roller can build strength, improve muscle length and balance and release tension.
11. GoFit – Pro Ankle Weights Padded – 5 lbs. Pair
This is ideal for rehab and improving lower body strength. It targets lower body muscle groups, including inner and outer thighs.
12. Gaiam – Yoga Mat Earth and Sky
What yogi wouldn’t love this great, extra thick premium Earth & Sky Reversible Yoga Mat that provides a stable, non-slip surface to get your om on!
13. Zing Anything – Kid Zinger Juice Maker Pink – 16 oz.
Perfect for kids who just aren’t into plain old water. Get them to chug down some H2O by infusing it with fresh oranges, clementines, lemons and limes.
14. Scotch Naturals – Nail Polish Tartan Swizzle – 0.35 oz.
Nail Polish is full of nasty chemicals! Give a non-toxic and eco-friendly alternative to “three-free” solvent-based polishes.
15. Harold Import - Mortar and Pestle Set of 3 Porcelain White
Any herbalist will love powdering their summer herbs into spices for the kitchen, natural remedies and more!
Maintaining healthy skin can be difficult during the winter. The harsh cold weather outside along with the blasting heat inside can create many skin problems. As your skin needs extra attention in the winter, we offer you five skin care beauty tips during cold weather conditions:
1. Drink Water
Drinking water is essential for good health not only the winter but all year long. Hydrate your skin from within by drinking lots of water including when you go outside. Herbal teas are also a great way to keep it up with proper hydration.
2. Flax Seed Oil
Flax seed oil can moisturize your body from the inside. This amazing supplement contains vital fatty acids which can do a lot for your overall health. It is available in oil form as well as in capsule form.
Exfoliating your skin is essential during cold days as this process help removing dead skin cells from your body. Exfoliating once or twice a week can keep your skin free from old dry cells as well as properly preparing to moisturize your skin.
4. Oil-based moisturizer
Most people prefer creams and lotions but they do tend to dry out the skin rather than keep it moisturized and soft. Oil-based moisturizers can help protect your skin from moisture loss and are often more efficient than lotion forms.
If you are willing the buy one, a humidifier is one of the best tools to keep your skin in good shape during the winter. A humidifying system puts moisture back into the air and helps your skin remain supple instead of cracked and dry.
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most useful and versatile supplements for your overall health. This health boosting tonic has been used for centuries for its healing properties as it fights infection, inflammation, eases pain, and helps digestive issues. Additionally, apple cider vinegar is a safe, natural alternative for the treatment of the skin, teeth and hair. So, here’s 25 unique uses of the amazing apple cider vinegar:
1. Use it for weight-loss as apple cider vinegar may help decrease appetite and increase fat burn
2. Use it as a detox to cleanse the kidneys
3. Use it as a facial cleanser to boost the pH of your skin
4. Use it to relieve the redness and pain of sunburn by adding it to bath water
5. Use it to promote relaxation in sore muscles
6. Use it to reduce swelling and minimize bruising
7. Use it as a skin toner for blemishes
8. Use it to removes nail fungus
9. Use it to balance the body’s pH level
10. Use it as a hair rinse to fight dandruff and add body and shine to your hair
11. Use it to reduce blood glucose level in diabetics
12. Use it to reduce buildup on the scalp
13. Use it as a supplement to lower cholesterol
14. Use it to reduce inflammation from arthritis
15. Use it to soothe bug bites and other skin irritations
16. Use it as supplement as it relieves sinus pressure and fights infection
17. Use it as an energy booster to increase energy and boosts metabolism
18. Use it to relieve gout
19. Use it to relieve allergies and asthma
20. Use it to treat ear infections
21. Use it to help in the removal of warts
22. Use it as an immune system enhancer to prevent flu
23. Use it as a digestive helper to promote bowel movements and ease constipation
24. Use it to whiten teeth and kills mouth bacteria
25. Use it to aid in relieving chest congestion
H2O On The Go
While drinking plenty of water is a well-known tip to maintain hydration, we often neglect how important it is to consistently drink water-containing fluids throughout the day. The adage of 8 glasses of water a day just isn’t enough to keep up with the body’s water needs.
Keep your fluid intake eco-friendly by carrying a glass or stainless steel water bottles with you to take your beverage of choice with you or fill up on the go.
Omegas From The Inside Out
While water hydrates the body, omega fatty acids keep that precious fluid in your skin cells to keep your skin hydrated. When omega oils are low in the diet, there is increased permeability of the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin) and increased skin water loss. Regularly consuming Omega’s 3, 6, 7 and 9 will lock in moisture from the inside out.
A recent study out of Turku Finland demonstrated that 2 grams (2000 mg) of a sea buckthorn fruit and seed oil supplement taken daily showed a significant increase in skin hydration and elasticity at the 1 and 3 month marks. Skin hydration increased by 33.6% at 1 month and 48.6% at 3 months compared to the control group. Skin elasticity increased by 16.3 % at 1 month and 25.8% at 3 months.
Dry, flaky, itchy skin can leave an accumulation of dead skin cells that prevent moisturizers from properly hydrating skin. Gentle exfoliation will prevent this build up and improve the ability of moisturizers to create a lipid barrier to protect your skin from dry environments.
When choosing an exfoliator, it is especially important to use an emollient-based product to prevent further drying of skin. Choose an Exfoliating Scrub that moisturizes skin while exfoliating and sloughing away dead skin cells. Use once or twice a week on facial skin and 2-3 times a week on elbows and knees or any other rough spots that need extra attention.
Slather On The Lipids
Moderately dry skin will benefit from traditional body lotions. However, for the driest, itchiest skin, look for ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter and cocoa butter that create strong moisturizing barriers against dry environments. .
Give your skin the extra pampering it needs during the winter by hydrating from the inside out and the outside in.
The seven primary constituents below explain the different “pillars” that support the immune enhancing effects of mushrooms.
1. Polysaccharides (ex. Alpha & Beta-glucans): Immune enhancing benefits
2. Glycoproteins (ex. PSK): Immune enhancing benefits
3. Triterpenes ( ex. Sterols): Hormone and immune support as well as mental health.
4. Lipids: Cholesterol modulating
5. Proteins (Enzymes): Antioxidants
6. Cyathane Derivatives (ex. erinacines & hericenones, nerve growth stimulant factors)
7. Secondary Metabolites
Mushrooms have been used cross-culturally for centuries as food, clothing, tools and medicinals. Examples include:
Mushrooms have approximately 12,000 genes controlling the production of more than 200,000 compounds. Each mushroom species has a unique genetic make-up and molecular structure. Our ancestors have been experimenting with medicinal mushrooms for over thousands of years which provides us insights into the most beneficial mushrooms in existence. Host Defense selects the best-documented, scientifically-studied and safest functional mushrooms in nature that can be cultivated. From that data they have developed methodologies to sustainably cultivate these species.